Lilly Day of Service

Lilly volunteers to plant 6,000 trees, plants at nature preserve near Fashion Mall

Sept. 28, 2015

As part of the Lilly Global Day of Service, approximately 300 employees of Eli Lilly and Company will be planting thousands of flowering trees and native perennials at the Oliver’s Woods nature preserve on Oct. 1.

Located near Keystone at the Crossing off River Road, the 53-acre preserve is visible from I-465. It was left to the Central Indiana Land Trust by Oliver Daugherty, who lived on the site until he passed away in 2009.

The Land Trust plans to open the preserve as soon as possible for the public to enjoy, but needs to do some restoration work and other preparation before the opening. Part of this effort includes working to remove thick swatches of invasive species – such as Asian bush honeysuckle – and replanting native plants and trees. Already, the Land Trust has removed a number of unhealthy, topped trees from the area along I-465, making way for the planting of about 1,000 flowering trees.

To that end, in that area as well as along the White River, the Lilly volunteers will plant more than 3,000 flowering trees and 3,000 perennials.

Each October, about 20,000 Lilly employees spend a day out of the office helping friends and neighbors in communities around the world. Since the program launched in 2008, employees have given nearly 625,000 hours through Global Day of Service initiatives, making it one of the largest single-day volunteer programs in the world.

“The generosity of Lilly and its employees will give a big boost to our efforts to make this stretch of the river and I-465 beautiful and sustainable,” Central Indiana Land Trust Executive Director Cliff Chapman said. “The native flowering trees such as dogwoods, redbuds and American plums will create beautiful splashes of color, but they’ll also hold the soil from spilling into the river and provide habitat for native wildlife species.”

The Central Indiana Land Trust works with landowners to protect and enhance natural areas, like Oliver’s Woods in Indianapolis, to ensure there are natural places all Hoosiers can enjoy now and in future generations.

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MEDIA CONTACT: Jen Schmits Thomas, 317-441-2487,

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.