Mossy Point Nature Preserve Grows, Protects Unique Plants and Wildlife

Nov. 14, 2018

Pristine acreage is “the most beautiful place we’ve ever protected”

The Central Indiana Land Trust purchased 25 acres of land to add to the Mossy Point Nature Preserve in Parke County. The newly purchased property also adjoins CILTI’s 191-acre Mossy Point Preserve; DNR’s Covered Bridge Retreat property; and Wabash College’s state-dedicated nature preserve Allee Woods, creating an approximately 700-acre swath of contiguous protected property.

“This is the most beautiful place we’ve ever protected,” Central Indiana Land Trust Executive Director Cliff Chapman said. “The terrain, the vegetation, the wildlife … it’s just a breathtaking display of natural Indiana. It’s like a small, unspoiled Turkey Run.”

Located along Sugar Creek, the new Mossy Point acreage includes a sandstone canyon, a rocky creek bed and unspoiled wooded areas with tree species including white oak and shagbark hickory. Craggy landscapes extending down to Sugar Creek host Ice Age remnant stands of Eastern hemlock, and shady areas give space to unusual plants such as wintergreen and partridgeberry.

“This is an iconic landscape that was not able to be shared until now. It is such an honor to be able to protect this hidden treasure and be able to share it with all Hoosiers in the future,” Chapman said. “The property connects two nature preserves. It is keystone to the larger area for plants, animals and for people to enjoy.”

In addition to being the Land Trust’s most beautiful acquisition, the new acreage also represents the quickest transaction the organization has ever closed. Owners – and longtime Land Trust members – Cliff and Dixie Kunze had already put “For Sale” signs on the land when the Land Trust heard it was on the market. Four weeks after initial conversations, the deal was closed.

“Understandably, the Kunzes weren’t sure we could move fast enough to get the deal completed and get them a good price for their land,” Chapman said. “Once they understood the urgency of the precious landscape that could be lost, our partners and members rose to the occasion, and the Kunzes were able to protect the land they love while still getting fair market value for it.”

Vulnerable species of breeding birds also find sanctuary in the Sugar Creek Valley, including critical populations of wood thrush, cerulean warbler, worm-eating warbler, Louisiana waterthrush and hooded warbler, as well as bald eagles.

The Land Trust raised $191,000 to purchase the 25 acres. Funding for the project came from the State of Indiana’s President Benjamin Harrison Conservation Trust, The Nature Conservancy, Steve and Catherine Simon, Efroymson Family Fund and members of the Central Indiana Land Trust.

About the Central Indiana Land Trust
CILTI preserves the best of Central Indiana’s natural areas, protecting plants and animals, so Hoosiers can experience the wonder of the state’s natural heritage. Since it was created in 1990, CILTI has protected more than 5,400 acres of land that meet science-based criteria for conservation value. More information at

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

INTERVIEW SOURCE: Cliff Chapman, Executive Director, Central Indiana Land Trust, 317-525-3329

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.