See one of Indy’s last pockets of nature
You can attend an ecologist’s lecture May 16 at Oliver’s Woods about local natural wonders
Marion County was pretty much paved over decades ago, but nestled here and there are still some pockets of the natural life.
The most striking of these is a patch of ground at 8825 River Road that’s owned by the Central Indiana Land Trust.
It’s hemmed in by the six loud, fast lanes of I-465 and the cement jungle that is the Fashion Mall at Keystone. But it’s spectacular and wild. It feels like you’re in the sticks. It’s 53 acres. Trees cover it, wildflowers cover it. The White River meanders through it. Bald eagles pass over it.
The Land Trust calls it Oliver’s Woods for Oliver Daugherty, the man who could have sold it to developers for millions but didn’t because he wanted to preserve the pocket of nature where his family had lived for generations. Again and again, developers knocked on the door of the grand, old (but extremely dilapidated) family manse, and again and again, Daugherty ordered them off the premises.
Daugherty was an unusual combination of social conservative (he listened to Rush Limbaugh on the radio) and environmental conservationist (he hated suburban sprawl). He wore his hair down to his shoulders, did not take daily showers and drove a bright red Mazda Miata. He never married. He died in 2009 (without heirs) at age 73. He left his property to the Land Trust.
Visit Oliver’s Woods on Thursday, May 16, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. to hear an ecologist, Tom Swinford of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, discuss the natural history of Indianapolis’ natural spaces. It’s free, and there’ll be refreshments. RSVP to Stacy at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (317) 631-5263.
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