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.
Japanese stiltgrass

Japanese Stiltgrass: From Packing Material to Nature Preserve

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

Unlike most other plants that have now become invasive, Japanese stiltgrass was not intentionally imported into North America. It is native to much of Asia and was once used as packing material for fragile items such as porcelain. It is believed to have arrived in America from China this way. The first documented occurrence was in 1919, when it was found in Tennessee. Continue reading

Ed Pope

Guest Blogger

Ed Pope is a retired engineer from Rolls-Royce and a CILTI member since 2002.
Snowfall at Oliver's Woods

The Many Gifts of Snow

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

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.
Callery pear blooming at Nonie Werbe Krauss Nature Preserve

Callery Pear: Not a Tasty Alternative

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

Callery pear is native to China and Vietnam. It was introduced into Europe in the 1800s. It first arrived in the United States at Boston’s Arnold Arboretum in 1906. It was imported by the United States Department of Agriculture in 1916, when a disease called fire blight was ravaging commercial pear growers, who were looking to develop a fire blight-resistant pear tree. Continue reading

Ed Pope

Guest Blogger

Ed Pope is a retired engineer from Rolls-Royce and a CILTI member since 2002.
Bush honeysuckle in bloom at White River Bluffs

Bush Honeysuckle: A Well-intentioned Import Gone Bad

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

“It would be difficult to exaggerate the weedy potential of this shrub.”
—Swink and Wilhelm, Plants of the Chicago Region

You have probably read some of Cliff’s articles bemoaning the widespread presence of bush honeysuckle on CILTI properties, or perhaps seen it yourself on a hike. Continue reading

Ed Pope

Guest Blogger

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

Garlic Mustard: A Study in Unintended Consequences

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

Garlic mustard is an herb that is native to Europe and portions of Asia. It has a garlic smell and has been used by humans as a spice since somewhere around 4000 B.C. It was most likely brought to this continent by Europeans for this purpose. The first documented record of it in the United States was on Long Island in 1868. Since then it has spread into the northeastern and Midwestern portions of the United States, as well as the southeastern part of Canada.

Continue reading

Ed Pope

Guest Blogger

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

The Underrated Bird

Guest post by Curt DeVoe, Board President

Geese are underrated – they really are incredible birds. Other than migrating cranes and a very rare visiting swan, they are the biggest birds around. Even a bald eagle looks a little smaller compared to a goose, or at least a flock of geese. Watching geese fly in long “V” formations has always fascinated me.

Geese also are tough – they adapt and survive even in urban environments. Continue reading

Curt DeVoe

Board President

Board president Curt DeVoe, Senior Counsel at Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP, has spent much of his life in and around the woods, streams and reservoirs of Central Indiana. Along with his wife, Lynn, he looks for a "nature moment" each day that kindles appreciation of the natural world.