Shirley Heinze Land Trust preserves and protects natural lands and waters in northwestern Indiana, engaging 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, more than 2,800 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.
Featured Events
Bringing Nature Home Award
Native plant gardens provide crucial connecting habitat in an otherwise fragmented world.

The Bringing Nature Home Award recognizes the efforts of those who are creating healthier habitats for pollinators, wildlife, and people.

Submit your native plant garden for the Bringing Nature Home Award today!

Explore our neighboring nature preserves who are partners in conservation. Learn about rare plants and migrating birds from hikes led by regional experts. Tickets are $25 each. Spots fill up quickly, so sign up today!

Walks With Shirley Logo

Take a Walk With Shirley

Nature in the Arts
Native plant gardens provide crucial connecting habitat in an otherwise fragmented world.

The Bringing Nature Home Award recognizes the efforts of those who are creating healthier habitats for pollinators, wildlife, and people.

Submit your native plant garden for the Bringing Nature Home Award today!

Explore our neighboring nature preserves who are partners in conservation. Learn about rare plants and migrating birds from hikes led by regional experts. Tickets are $25 each. Spots fill up quickly, so sign up today!

Walks With Shirley Logo

Take a Walk With Shirley

Activating Green Spaces
Native plant gardens provide crucial connecting habitat in an otherwise fragmented world.

The Bringing Nature Home Award recognizes the efforts of those who are creating healthier habitats for pollinators, wildlife, and people.

Submit your native plant garden for the Bringing Nature Home Award today!

Explore our neighboring nature preserves who are partners in conservation. Learn about rare plants and migrating birds from hikes led by regional experts. Tickets are $25 each. Spots fill up quickly, so sign up today!

Walks With Shirley Logo

Take a Walk With Shirley

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Upcoming Events
May 25, 2022
Volunteer! Burns Harbor Tree Plantings

Shirley Heinze Stewardship staff will be out planting trees along the new Marquette Trail addition in Burns Harbor on Wednesday 5/25 and Thursday 5/26 as part of a restoration project we are assisting with.
 
Each day they will be there from approximately 9:30 AM to 3 PM.
 
If you are available

Upcoming Events
June 1, 2022
Community Clean Up @ Ivanhoe South

Help us keep our neighborhoods beautiful with a litter pick up day near Ivanhoe South Nature Preserve. We will be picking up trash along the trail and roads in order to keep the area clean and safe, improve walkability for visitors, and help maintain a healthy ecosystem and wildlife.

Upcoming Events
June 23, 2022
Dig the Dunes Beer Run @ Ambler Flatwoods

What's better than a trail run and a cold beer?

Dig the Dunes is partnering with Shirley Heinze Land Trust to host two trail runs this summer! The Ambler Flatwoods Run is one of the more rugged runs. Tickets are $6 and are purchased through the event website / Cost will be $7.50 on the

Upcoming Events
July 16, 2022
Nature in the Arts - Make Your Own Field Guide

Channel your inner artist with our Nature in the Arts series! Visit us at Ambler to walk in the woods and create a personalized field guide of your observations.

Upcoming Events
August 20, 2022
Nature in the Arts - Nature Collage and Walking Journals

Create nature-inspired art with us! We are excited to partner with the Art Barn School of Art in leading a cyanotype printmaking workshop, while the Chesterton Art Center shows you how to create your own "walking journal."

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Read Our Latest Posts
Streamside Sentinel
Streamside Sentinel
Immortalized in popular song, the sycamore occupies a special place on the Indiana panorama. The American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) is one of the tallest trees (up to 150 feet) on the Hoosier landscape, and it sometimes exhibits a circumference so large that its hollow stumps once served as dwellings...
INSIGHTS Spring 2022– Vol 25 Issue 1
INSIGHTS Spring 2022– Vol 25 Issue 1
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Hibernating Possibilities
Hibernating Possibilities
Since the onset of the COVID19 pandemic in 2020, a small group of like-minded individuals started meeting with Shirley Heinze Land Trust (SHLT) personnel about the concept of an emerging leaders group. I was one of those individuals who, at the time, did some volunteering at SHLT but also witnessed the...
Showing the World You Care
Showing the World You Care
Under sunny skies and spring-like temperatures, nine Shirley Heinze volunteers gathered Monday, February 21, at Meadowbrook Nature Preserve to remove invasive Black Locust saplings. The Meadowbrook Monday workday was part of the organization’s ongoing reforestation effort, which has seen staff and volunteers...
Seeing Red
Seeing Red
By the calendar, February 2 marks the half-way point of winter, but here in the Midwest, there’s lots of gray sky left in the season. A winter walk can jolt me out of the doldrums, and in February, it’s fun to hunt for red. I found some on a recent hike at Lydick Bog Nature … Seeing Red Read...
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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 1,500 Hours Volunteered in 2021
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.