Happy Earth Day

Happy Earth Day!

On Earth Day, we pause to give our gratitude to all you nature-lovers. We are so grateful for your ongoing support for nature. You are showing your connection and care for the earth in so many ways. 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.
Painted lady butterfly on coneflower

Her Eyes Had It

Maria Sibylla Merian was only 13 when she learned to trust her eyes. The young German girl had been intrigued by the silkworms at the town silk mill: where did they come from? In her time, the 17th century, insects were considered “beasts of the devil,” perhaps because of their antennae. Prevailing wisdom of the age was that flies, moths and butterflies arose spontaneously from mud or rotting produce. 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.
Harriet Tubman Memorial, Cambridge, MD, via Creative Commons

“We Have Always Been Present”

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

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.
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.
Illustration by Sarah Josepha Hale, public domain

Saluting the Women Who Drew Plants

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

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.
Blossom Hollow, Photo by Dick Miller

Trek Our Trails Challenge features 5 popular nature preserves

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 10, 2021

You’ve been cooped up for months, and it’s time to get out and explore some of the most beautiful places in Central Indiana. Soon, wildflowers will be peeking through the forest floor, birdsong will be in the air, and Indiana’s nature preserves will be coming to life.

Continue reading

Jen Schmits Thomas

Media Relations

An award-winning communicator and recognized leader in Central Indiana’s public relations community, Jen helps us tell our story in the media. She is the founder of JTPR, which she and her husband John Thomas own together.
Grace completing the pack test.

Fired Up and Ready to Go

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

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.
Burning bush in a natural area

Burning Bush: A Hardwood Forest’s Enemy

Part of a series on invasive species by guest blogger Ed Pope

Burning bush, also known as winged burning bush, is native to eastern Asia. It was imported into New England in 1860 and became a popular landscaping shrub for a couple of reasons. It is very easy to grow, and it grows slowly, so it doesn’t have to be trimmed often. Continue reading

Ed Pope

Guest Blogger

Ed Pope is a retired engineer from Rolls-Royce and a CILTI member since 2002.