Shirley Heinze Land Trust preserves and restores natural lands and waters in northwestern Indiana, and engages people in nature and conservation.
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Preserve
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Restore
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Engage
Since 1981, Shirley Heinze Land Trust has been dedicated to the preservation and restoration of significant natural areas throughout northwestern Indiana. Today, approximately 3,000 acres across Lake, Porter, LaPorte, St. Joseph, Marshall, and Starke 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.
Featured Event
Fall Appreciation Days
Join us on May 4 for an evening of food, music, and community as we celebrate all they ways we are “Branching into New Waters!”

2024 Spring Benefit

2024 Spring Benefit

Upcoming Events
February 26, 2024
Meadowbrook Monday: Seed Cleaning

As winter starts to relinquish its grip on our region, wrap yourself in the warm spirit of volunteerism and join us in the Meadowbrook office conference room for a seed cleaning workday!

Native plant propagation is one of the most important aspects of stewardship at Shirley Heinze. As we've seen...

Upcoming Events
February 29, 2024
Volunteer Workday @ St. Francis

A statuesque shagbark hickory stands next to the boardwalk at St. Francis Nature Preserve.

One of Shirley Heinze's newest preserves, St. Francis Nature Preserve in Michigan City is a forest wetland adjacent to the Franciscan...

Upcoming Events
March 1, 2024
Volunteer Workday @ Bayless Dune

Parking for the workday will be at the former site of Nobel Elementary School, now a vacant parcel across from St. Barnabas Church, 601 Pottawatomi Trail, Gary.

This little preserve in Miller features oak forest, wetlands,...

Upcoming Events
March 8, 2024
Volunteer Workday @ Lydick Bog

Lydick Bog is truly a place like no other. The rare bog habitat is home to many delicate and unique plant species, and all manner of wildlife and fungi thrive on the floating mat of peat- and the forest and field around it. Controlling invasive species in an ecosystem like this one is crucial to preserving...

Upcoming Events
March 11, 2024
Meadowbrook Monday: Grow One Keep One Prep

Help us kickoff the popular Grow One, Keep One program for 2024!

As our recent series of seed cleaning workdays have  illustrated, native plant propagation is one of the most important aspects of stewardship at Shirley Heinze. On March 11th, we'll start preparing the donated milk jugs for planting...

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Read Our Latest Posts
Winter Creature Feature
Winter Creature Feature
Humans aren’t alone in adopting new routines during the winter months; the natural world falls into its own seasonal rhythm during this time of year. In this Creature Feature, we’ll explore the unique ways that three native species adapt to the cold. Shirley Heinze Land Trust nature preserves...
Nature at Home: December Activity
Nature at Home: December Activity
December Activity: Winter Activity Page – Welcome to the fourth installment of the Nature at Home series. As nature falls into the cooler, slower rhythm of winter, there’s no better time to celebrate the wonders of the season. – Click the highlighted text to download the activity: Winter...
The Value of Connecting to Nature through Art
The Value of Connecting to Nature through Art
Nature in the Arts celebrated its third year with events at Meadowbrook, St. Francis, Ivanhoe South, and Lydick Bog Nature Preserves. Each event offered family-friendly activities and hiking opportunities that focused on the unique features of each site. Nature in the Arts at Lydick Bog Nature Preserve...
Shirley Heinze Snapshot 9: The Great Marsh, November 1, 2023
Shirley Heinze Snapshot 9: The Great Marsh, November 1, 2023
November Marsh By Dale K. Nichols (Board Member) Dear friends of Shirley Heinze Land Trust:  This is the ninth in a series of “snapshots” featuring our Beverly Shores/Great Marsh preserve that I began writing in March of this year.  I hope you have enjoyed reading them, and that you have learned a bit...
Appreciation Days Were Fun for All!
Appreciation Days Were Fun for All!
Earlier this month, our community experienced the joy and wonder of nature through two engaging events organized by Shirley Heinze Land Trust. These events not only provided fun and education but also celebrated our ongoing efforts to preserve and appreciate our local natural habitats. Embracing the...
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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.
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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.
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Nature Preserve Volunteer
Over 3,615 Hours Volunteered in 2023
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.
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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.