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
April 22, 2024
Meadowbrook Monday

This week, we'll continue working on the trails, knocking back brambles and clearing small limbs for the increased hiking that'll come with warmer weather. Trail maintenance is a substantial part of Meadowbrook Monday and a great way to get some scenic views of this beautiful preserve.

Attendees enjoy the ambiance at Urschel Pavilion during last year's Spring Benefit.

You can help make our biggest fundraising event of the year a success by helping staff get ready for our Annual Spring Benefit! The main focus...

Upcoming Events
May 8, 2024
Forest Bathing @ St. Francis Nature Preserve

Learn about forest bathing, its history, and techniques you can incorporate into your everyday life....

Upcoming Events
May 9, 2024
Spring Ephemerals Hike: Observing with an Artist’s Eye @ Meadowbrook

Explore the spring wildflowers of Meadowbrook through the nuanced lens of an artist. Bring paper and drawing utensils to practice your sketching skills!...

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Read Our Latest Posts
Protecting Our Streams: Why Water Quality Matters
Protecting Our Streams: Why Water Quality Matters
Northwest Indiana is a highly industrialized region, and despite significant legislation and safeguards, industrial by-products such as heavy metals still sometimes manage to find their way into our local watersheds. These occurrences are rare, but establishing a water quality monitoring program is important...
Volunteers Make Way at Meadowbrook
Volunteers Make Way at Meadowbrook
In July of 2021, Shirley Heinze’s stewardship staff and volunteers from Cleveland Cliffs began felling trees and clearing brush to create a new trail at the front of Meadowbrook Nature Preserve. It was just one aspect of a master plan guided by a vision that included making Meadowbrook more accessible...
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...
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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 4,118 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.