May is Mental Health Awareness Month—the perfect time to celebrate the power of nature to boost mood and mental acuity. It’s no secret that nature—and forests in particular—can heal us. Physicians and mental health professionals are starting to recognize this. Many have begun to prescribe nature walks to their patients. Continue reading
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
For Women’s History Month, we have been seeking the “sheroes” of American conservation, particularly among marginalized communities. Realizing many of their names have been lost to time, we honor the BIPOC* women who have long been deeply connected to the land, as well as advocating and caring for the earth. Continue reading
Did you know that women historically played a key role in advancing the botany field? In fact, in 19th century US, botany was considered a feminine affair. Many upper-class women collected, drew, and wrote about plants. They pursued this course of study both out of interest and because it was a socially acceptable ladies’ pastime. Continue reading
They came, they saw, they carried.
Members of our stewardship team completed a “pack test” recently as part of fire training. Their task? Carry a 50-pound backpack for 3 miles in less than 45 minutes.
Everyone passed, taking the team one step closer to being able to lead controlled burns on our properties. Continue reading
by Shawndra Miller, Communications Manager
I happen to love snow. Even if I complain about shoveling and hate to drive in it, I find real magic in the kind of big snowfall we had earlier this month. Snow has a way of transforming the world into a more beautiful place. A drab and muddy slog through midwinter becomes something cozy, pretty, downright festive. (I admit that working from home increases my appreciation of this kind of weather event!) Continue reading
By Cliff Chapman
Executive Director, Central Indiana Land Trust
I got a text from a friend a couple days ago asking if I wanted to go look for a saw-whet owl. It was too good of an opportunity for an enthusiastic birder to pass up.
Saw-whets are tiny owls who winter in Indiana. This owl—that nearly no one knows about—is an example of winter migration to somewhere other than the tropics. In this case, Central Indiana offers the warmer climate that birds flock to. Continue reading
By White River Steward Grace van Kan
A few weeks ago, I sat down at my computer and popped in the memory card that I’d retrieved from our trail cam at Oliver’s Woods earlier in the day. Loading up the files and clicking my way towards the images captured over the previous two weeks, there was no way to keep my excitement down. What kind of animal secrets would soon be revealed? What undercover inhabitants might I unveil? Continue reading
White River Steward
Thirty-five acres of Shelby County agricultural land came under protection this year, right next to the venerated old growth forest of Meltzer Woods. The Land Trust purchased the property from the Spalding family, descendants of the forest’s original champion, Brady Meltzer. The land had been in the family since 1857. Continue reading
Dr. E. Lucy Braun, whose pioneering work in forest ecology paved the way for today’s conservationists, stepped out of history to greet attendees of our Spirit and Place Festival hike. The old growth forest of Meltzer Woods offered a stunning backdrop for her comments as she looked back at the past 100 years. Continue reading