Shirley Heinze Land Trust preserves and protects natural lands and waters in northwestern Indiana, engaging people in nature and conservation.

Since 1981, Shirley Heinze Land Trust has been dedicated to the preservation and restoration of significant natural areas throughout northwestern Indiana. Today, more than 2,600 acres across Lake, Porter, LaPorte, and St. Joseph counties are permanently protected, and most of our nature preserves are open to the public to explore and enjoy.We invite you to explore our upcoming events, volunteer opportunities and ways to donate, and see how you can help us protect northwestern Indiana’s natural areas, bringing people and nature a little closer in the process.

40 Years of
to Nature!
Shirley Heinze Land Trust 40th Anniversary
Spring Benefit Celebration May 24 - 29, 2021
March 9, 2021
Bringing Nature Home: an Introduction to Native Gardening

Learn about how Bringing Nature Home and incorporating native plants in your landscaping can make a difference in supporting our local ecosystem....

March 23, 2021
Amphibians and Reptiles of Northwest Indiana

Join us for a discussion of the various habitats of Northwest Indiana and the reptiles and amphibians that live there....

April 20, 2021
Climate Watch: Monitoring Changes in Bird Populations

National Audubon’s Climate Watch Surveys allows birders to contribute their sightings to studies of how birds are responding to climate change....

May 4, 2021
The Gem of Chicago Wilderness: Restoration of the Greatest Ecological Region of the U. S.

Learn about the ecological splendor of our area, how that great diversity came to be, and how restoration efforts by any and everyone can solidify our ecological gem!...

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Read Our Latest Posts
By: Mary Nell Murphy While driving on Hwy 12 near the Indiana Dunes parks last fall, I stopped at a wayside for a stretch break and looked across the road to a sea of watermelon pink under the forest canopy. Delightful? No! As I suspected, and as I confirmed “upon further review of the field” …...
Invasive Species Awareness Week: Burning Bush
By: Glenn Major As a child, our mother sent us out to collect Bittersweet vines. Their attractive fruit mixed with gourds from the garden made for a festive holiday decoration of table or mantle. Folks wove them into colorful Christmas wreaths and candle rings. There lies the problem; these attractive...
Invasive Species Awareness Week: Oriental Bittersweet
This story is part of an ongoing wildlife monitoring project along a tributary of Salt Creek, Damon Run,  that meanders through Meadowbrook Nature Preserve. Check out Part 1 and Part 2 to catch up!   By: Jim Haniford Nothing prepared me for winter through the lens of the trail camera.  Once Sarah...
Drama on Damon Run: Mink Monitoring Part 3
By: Jim Haniford As I mentioned in my first blog entry, we are in search of the American Mink (Neovison vison).  In case you missed it, I wrote about a few random encounters that led to the initiation of a creekside monitoring project, enlisting the use of a trail cam in order to capture this …...
Monitoring the American Mink: Part 2
By: Jim Haniford A few scattered reports have come in from around the preserve about a small, furry creature, glimpsed for just a matter of seconds in each instance. One staff member saw it run out from the tall grass as she approached on a riding mower.  Another encountered it running up a trail in...
Monitoring the American Mink: Part 1
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Visit a Preserve Near You!
From globally rare dune and swale in Gary to lovely moraine forests near Valparaiso, to one of the last remaining bogs in Indiana near South Bend, there is likely to be one of our nature preserves near your community, where you have the chance to experience the natural wonders of one of the most biodiverse regions in the country.
Your Donation Makes a Difference
The generosity of individuals is the foundation of our support. Whether a few dollars, a few hundred, or more, your donations enable us to uphold our commitment to forever protect and restore lands and waters throughout northwestern Indiana. Discover the ways that you can donate money or land to support the enduring mission of Shirley Heinze Land Trust.
Nature Preserve Volunteer
4,050 Hours Volunteered in 2019
Volunteers are the lifeblood of our organization. Whether you’d like to spend a few hours in nature by helping to maintain our trails and preserves, or assist with workshops and workdays that bring people closer to nature, or contribute behind the scenes to help Shirley Heinze Land Trust run smoothly, we need your help.
Say Hello!
You may find us out in the field, maintaining our preserves, or at a meeting with conservation partners, or connecting with people in communities across northwestern Indiana. You may also find us in our offices, located on the edge of Meadowbrook Nature Preserve, just north of Valparaiso. Contact us today to say hello, learn more about what we do, and find out how you can help Shirley Heinze Land Trust protect natural places for generations to come.