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, St. Joseph, and Marshall 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
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!

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!

Bringing Nature Home Award
Applications Due August 20th

Bringing Nature Home Award
Applications Due August 20th

Nature in the Arts
Shirley Heinze is hosting free, public, family-friendly arts events in 2022!

Take a look at all of the events we're hosting (left), and visit the Nature in the Arts page to see our upcoming virtual events.

We hope to see you this summer!

Shirley Heinze is hosting free, public, family-friendly arts events in 2022!

Nature in the Arts

events calendar

Shirley Heinze is hosting free, public, family-friendly arts events in 2022!

Take a look at all of the events we're hosting (left), and visit the Nature in the Arts page to see our upcoming virtual events.

Take a look at all of the events we're hosting (above), and visit the Nature in the Arts page to see our upcoming virtual events.

Activating Green Spaces
We're striving for equity in the outdoors.

Through our new initiative, Activating Green Spaces, we aim to provide environmental education and outdoor experiences for underrepresented communities in Gary, IN.

Activating Green Spaces

pictures of birders in Gary, Indiana

Thanks to NIPSCO for providing grant funding for this project, and to our partners Brown Faces Green Spaces, Aetna Manor Revitalization Program, Gary Community School Corporation, West Side Leadership Academy, and the Urban League of Northwest Indiana, INC.

Thanks to NIPSCO for providing grant funding for this project, and to our partners Brown Faces Green Spaces, Aetna Manor Revitalization Program, Gary Community School Corporation, West Side Leadership Academy, and the Urban League of Northwest Indiana, INC.

We're striving for equity in the outdoors.

Through our new initiative, Activating Green Spaces, we aim to provide environmental education and outdoor experiences for underrepresented communities in Gary, IN.

Thanks to NIPSCO for providing grant funding for this project, and to our partners Brown Faces Green Spaces, Aetna Manor Revitalization Program, Gary Community School Corporation, West Side Leadership Academy, and the Urban League of Northwest Indiana, INC.

We're striving for equity in the outdoors.

Through our new initiative, Activating Green Spaces, we aim to provide environmental education and outdoor experiences for underrepresented communities in Gary, IN.

Activating Green Spaces

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Upcoming Events
August 12, 2022
Volunteer! Great Rattlesnake (Manna Grass) Roundup

This season the marsh has blessed us with a bumper crop of this easy-to-collect seed, and staff would like to harvest as much of it as possible.

Upcoming Events
August 15, 2022
Volunteer! Meadowbrook Monday

Join us on the first and third Monday of every month as we work on a variety of projects at Meadowbrook Nature Preserve to improve and beautify the preserve.

Upcoming Events
August 20, 2022
Nature in the Arts - Collages & Nature Wands

Create nature-inspired art with us! We are excited to partner with the Art Barn School of Art in leading a nature collage workshop, while the Chesterton Art Center shows you how to make your own magic through a DIY nature wand.

Upcoming Events
August 20, 2022
Lydick Bog Hike

Experience one of the rarest habitats in the world at Lydick Bog! Join local naturalists Steve Sass and Amanda Smith of Indiana Nature to learn all about the bog.

Upcoming Events
August 27, 2022
Rare Plants of the Tefft Savanna

Support Shirley Heinze Land Trust in preserving natural lands and waters in northwestern Indiana by attending our annual Walks With Shirley and Friends hiking series. These guided hikes are held at a variety of outstanding habitats across northwestern Indiana. Attendees will gain a wealth of knowledge

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Read Our Latest Posts
Interview with Valparaiso Farmer Tom Murphy
Interview with Valparaiso Farmer Tom Murphy
Tom Murphy, a Northwest Indiana farmer, partners with Shirley Heinze Land Trust on the Agricultural Land Program, developed with local farmers and agricultural organizations in order to surface resources and planning guidance to preserve NWI farmland for generations to come. Murphy has been instrumental...
Flower Power: Plant Natives with Bringing Nature Home
Flower Power: Plant Natives with Bringing Nature Home
The Bringing Nature Home Award is due August 20, 2022. Apply here! Native plants are pretty groovy—they have the power to sustain wildlife, protect our homes, and beautify communities. Shirley Heinze Land Trust works hard to restore natives throughout our nature preserves, and we also recognize the power...
Frogs Hopping Around Lydick Bog Nature Preserve
Frogs Hopping Around Lydick Bog Nature Preserve
Growing up with a forest in my backyard, I thought I knew all the sounds that Indiana spring nights had to offer, from the distinctive hoots of owls to the occasional chirp of bats. Apart from these somewhat rare springtime noises, it seemed like the forest, for the most part, held on to the blanket...
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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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.