Nuthatch, by Jerry Rushton

The Land Protection Legacy

As we approach Thanksgiving, I want to recognize some of CILTI’s unsung but most gracious heroes—the members of our Burr Oak Society. Members I am truly thankful for.

Burr Oak Society members have prioritized the future of Indiana’s natural spaces for decades to come. These generous folks have such a passion for land protection that they included CILTI in their estates and wills.

In recent years, we have seen some of these plans come to fruition, and we mourn the loss of each supporter and friend. We are honored and moved that so many have put their faith in CILTI to carry forth a legacy. Because of their gifts, we have been able to protect and restore thousands of acres of nature for future generations.

Back in 2019, we were overwhelmed when John and Phyllis Holliday left CILTI our largest estate gift to date. A few years ago, we had a chance to speak with the Hollidays’ daughter, Mary Holliday Rogers. “I know that Dad is up there smiling, knowing he is making a difference,” Mary told us, pleased that her parents’ gift will go towards preserving Central Indiana’s best natural areas. We intend to keep making the Holliday family proud by honoring John and Phyllis’s wish to preserve the best of Central Indiana.

Another member of the Burr Oak Society wears many hats at CILTI. Our friend, volunteer, supporter, and seasonal staff person, Phil Schaefer, has included the land trust in his final plans. When asked why, he told us, “I love the concept of preserving these spaces and this land forever, for future generations to enjoy.”

While we know of these and many more wonderful Burr Oak Society members, we believe there are several with similar wishes who haven’t yet informed us of their plans. If you are one of those people, we encourage you to let us know that you have included CILTI in your plans. Not only do we want to thank you in your lifetime, but we also want to make sure we honor your wishes. And if you are in the process of thinking about your final wishes, please let us know if you have questions about the Burr Oak Society.

I wish you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving. Thank you for all you do for nature in Indiana.

More information: Stacy Cachules at or 317.441.0535.

Stacy Cachules

Chief Operating Officer

Among her many key duties as Assistant Director, Stacy has the critical task of tracking our budget, making sure we channel donations for maximum efficiency. When her workday’s done, Stacy loves to spend time with her two young boys—and when not traveling, she’s likely planning the next travel adventure.