Photo by Greg Hess

The Wonder of the Monarch

(This piece was originally published in the September issue of Urban Times)

That monarch butterfly winging through your neighborhood has a whole story to tell. It’s a story of habitat loss and endangerment, but also wonder. Weighing less than a gram, this iconic species will take an incredible journey this fall. Continue reading

Shawndra Miller

Communications Manager

Shawndra is in charge of sharing our story and connecting you to our work. Through our print and online materials, she hopes to inspire your participation in protecting special places for future generations.
Planting trees in Parke County

Monitoring Land Protection with “Kermit” the Drone

If you are a CILTI member and received this summer’s newsletter, you probably noticed the unique vantage point of our cover photo. Seen from the sky, our cover shot showed the stewardship team hard at work, planting young trees on the edge of a lush forest in Parke County. To capture this photo, we used a relatively new tool (or some might say toy): a drone. Continue reading

Grace van Kan

White River Steward

Grace grew up roaming the woods, creeks and wetlands around the Chesapeake Bay watershed. From an early trout-raising project to a “gap year” spent restoring coral reefs in Thailand, her interest in aquatic conservation has only grown. Now she cares for several riverine nature preserves as CILTI’s White River Steward.
Early Brood X Cicada

Brood X is coming (but please don’t believe it’s an “invasion”).

by Traci Willis, Outreach Specialist

Many headlines have begun to default to negative metaphors such as “invasion” or “infestation” when reporting about the upcoming periodical cicada emergence called Brood X. It’s true that at their highest concentration, there may be 1.5 million cicadas per acre in some areas. While that can feel overwhelming, cicadas aren’t harmful to people or pets, and they don’t bite or sting. In reality, they’re nearly defenseless! Continue reading

Traci Willis

Outreach Specialist

Traci has always loved nature, channeling her passion into creating habitat for bees and butterflies (and taking stunning photographs of them). She coordinates our outreach efforts.
Dutchman's Breeches watercolor by Gillian Harris

Serving Science through her Art: Gillian Harris

Bloomington resident Gillian Harris, illustrator of the award-winning children’s book Wake Up, Woods, will be part of our Wake Up to Spring event at Oliver’s Woods this Sunday, along with Michael Homoya. Gillian’s stunning watercolors are a feast for the eyes. We asked her to share more about her work in this blog post.

How did you get your start illustrating the natural world?

I’m really interested in native plants, and I’ve been drawing all my life. I put the two together logically. I started out drawing more animals and then got more into botanical illustrations, which I enjoy. Continue reading

Shawndra Miller

Communications Manager

Shawndra is in charge of sharing our story and connecting you to our work. Through our print and online materials, she hopes to inspire your participation in protecting special places for future generations.
Yellow-rumped warbler

Celebrating the Forever Promise

Second in a series on the Trek our Trails Challenge by guest blogger Ben Valentine

It’s finally spring and I feel the need to get away from the city and cornfields to celebrate winter’s end. The Laura Hare Preserve at Blossom Hollow—brimming with wildflowers and more red-headed woodpeckers than I’ve ever seen in one day—seems like the perfect spot to do so. Continue reading

Ben Valentine

Guest blogger

Ben Valentine is a founding member of the Friends of Marott Woods Nature Preserve and is active in several other conservation organizations. He leads a series of NUVO interviews with Indiana's environmental leaders, and he cherishes showing his son all the wonders of nature he grew up loving.
Photo by Ben Valentine

Finding Home in Meltzer Woods

First in a series on the Trek our Trails Challenge by guest blogger Ben Valentine

“The word ecology is derived from the Greek oikos, the word for home.” ― Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants

“Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.” Gary Snyder, poet  Continue reading

Ben Valentine

Guest blogger

Ben Valentine is a founding member of the Friends of Marott Woods Nature Preserve and is active in several other conservation organizations. He leads a series of NUVO interviews with Indiana's environmental leaders, and he cherishes showing his son all the wonders of nature he grew up loving.
Virginia bluebells

What Nature Does in Spring

By Michael Homoya, former state botanist, coauthor of Wake Up, Woods

Even though the early signs of winter’s waning may seem unimpressive to us, to the wild things they provide notice that the big dance is about to begin. Soon birds will pour forth song, salamanders and frogs will seek out vernal pools, and swarms of midge flies will take to the air. Continue reading

Michael Homoya

Guest Blogger

Michael Homoya was a botanist and plant ecologist for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Natural Heritage Program for 37 years prior to his retirement in 2019.
Meltzer Woods photo by Jordan England

Announcing the Trek Our Trails Challenge

Are you ready for a nature fix? There’s still plenty of time to participate in a yearlong challenge that you can enjoy on your own. Make your way to a nature preserve to get started in the Trek Our Trails challenge! Continue reading

Shawndra Miller

Communications Manager

Shawndra is in charge of sharing our story and connecting you to our work. Through our print and online materials, she hopes to inspire your participation in protecting special places for future generations.
Photo of Girls, Inc. girls at Blossom Hollow, by Mary Ellen Lennon

Many Hikes and Miles: Educator Grateful for CILTI Places and Programs

We thank Marion University professor Mary Ellen Lennon for this guest post.

As an educator, I have enjoyed the use of Central Indiana Land Trust resources and properties for student programming. I could not be more pleased to speak of the organization’s mission to students. And as a budding naturalist raising two young conservation ecologists, I eagerly scan my email in search of the next invitation to a public hike or talk sponsored by the land trust. Continue reading

Mary Ellen Lennon

Guest Blogger

Mary Ellen Lennon is assistant professor of history at Marion University.