Dec. 17, 2015
Hamilton County spot renamed Eleanor “Nonie” Krauss Nature Preserve
To mark its 25th anniversary, the Central Indiana Land Trust has renamed a nature preserve in Hamilton County in memory of a woman who was instrumental in the organization’s growth and development. The preserve located on the southwest corner of 116th Street and Eller Road in Fishers will now be known as the Eleanor “Nonie” Krauss Nature Preserve.
Nonie (pronounced NO-nee) Krauss served as a member of the board of directors and advisory board for eight nonconsecutive years. During that time, her contributions included helping get the 77 acres along the White River in Fishers protected as a nature preserve in 2006. Today, the preserve is an oasis of nature in one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation.
Krauss is credited with driving CILTI’s growth and evolution from an all-volunteer, informal organization to one with a professional staff and more than 4,000 acres under its stewardship. When she got involved, in the 1990s, CILTI operated on such a small scale that it kept important papers like deeds to nature preserves in a box that traveled from one president’s home to the next.
“Nonie got us out of the shoebox,” said Cliff Chapman, executive director of CILTI. “She secured a grant from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust to hire the first staff person. She helped find space for the first office. She was on the board when we purchased the first property. It was a critical time and she was a key leader.”
Sadly, Krauss died suddenly in 2007.
“Nonie loved nature and all that is part of it,” said her husband and former Indianapolis deputy mayor John L. Krauss. “She would be humbled but thrilled that this preserve is set aside in her honor for all to enjoy nature, birds and animals in their glory.”
The property had previously been known as the Wapahani Nature Preserve.
About the Eleanor “Nonie” Krauss Nature Preserve
The 77-acre preserve is open from dawn to dusk. It features a restored prairie and bottomland forest along the White River both planted in 2008. The prairie is being managed to become a burr oak savanna over the coming decades. Over 19,000 trees were planted in the bottomland forest. Common species found include a variety of prairie grasses, prairie dock, milkweed, monarch butterflies, Baltimore oriole, belted kingfisher, grasshopper sparrow and American mink. Parking is available behind Riverside Middle School (10910 Eller Road) after 4 p.m. on weekdays and anytime on weekends.
About the Central Indiana Land Trust Inc. (CILTI)
The Central Indiana Land Trust works with landowners to protect and enhance natural areas to ensure there are natural places all Hoosiers can enjoy now and in future generations.
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