Over the coming decade we are committed to planting a million trees to buffer Central Indiana’s protected natural areas. We are guided by our conservation plan in this endeavor, which will have multiple benefits:
A natural climate solution: Trees scrub carbon from the air, helping to mitigate climate change.
Transitional habitat: Young forests provide habitat for niche species that need these wooded areas’ unique attributes to thrive. Elusive species such as the yellow-breasted chat, blue-winged warbler and ruffed grouse may return and raise several generations while the wooded areas mature into homes for a different suite of wildlife.
Forest interior habitat: Strategically placed trees also can help to restore forests and connect current natural areas, creating larger and better habitat for plants and wildlife. This will support declining wildlife species in Indiana that need large blocks of forest to thrive. Forest interior species like the Eastern box turtle, for example, need to lay their eggs far from a woods’ edge, because of predator threats along the perimeter.
Flood reduction: Converting idle floodplain farmland back to forest also offers benefits. In times of flooding, floodplain forests allow water to infiltrate into the groundwater system more efficiently, with sediment falling onto the forest floor. The result: less flooding downstream and cleaner water.
Our goal is to plant trees around places like Shrader-Weaver Nature Preserve in Fayette County, Meltzer Woods Nature Preserve in Shelby County, and Calvert & Porter Nature Preserve in Montgomery County — all national landmarks. Doing so will create even bigger blocks of wildlife habitat and, again, help to offset the effects of a changing climate.
For more about our work, see What We Do.