October 22, 2020
Shirley Heinze Land Trust announces the completion of a new multipurpose pavilion at Lydick Bog Nature Preserve, located at 25898 US 20, in South Bend, Indiana. The 56’ x 26’ open-air structure features a steel roof and a concrete floor. It will be used for various programming activities and will be available as a picnic shelter for preserve visitors. Funding for the project came from the St. Joseph County Council’s Tourism Enhancement and Amplify Momentum Grant Program. A ribbon cutting ceremony will be planned in 2021.
“This pavilion is a significant milestone for the organization,” says Executive Director Kristopher Krouse. “It’s not only a first major step in advancing our public access master plan for Lydick Bog, it’s also a testament to Shirley Heinze Land Trust’s commitment to making the natural areas we preserve more of a community resource for all to enjoy. This is one of a number of ADA-accessible amenities we have planned for this property, including a boardwalk, restrooms, parking lot, trails, and signage.”
Acquired by Shirley Heinze Land Trust in 2016, the 178-acre nature preserve contains wetlands interspersed with high ridges and islands of upland forest. Wetland habitat encompasses approximately 65 acres of the property. Many interesting plant species characteristic of bog habitats have been identified on site, including round-leaved sundew, pitcher plant, winterberry, tamarack, and large cranberry. Twenty acres formerly in agricultural production are being reforested.
Lydick Bog was dedicated as an Indiana State Nature Preserve in January 2019. The designation adds additional protection for the plants, animals and natural communities which are found there, and it protects the property in perpetuity from development which would harm its natural character. Lydick Bog is the sixth Shirley Heinze Land Trust preserve to receive the designation.
The Indiana Bicentennial Nature Trust, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, The Conservation Fund, and NIPSCO were integral to the protection of Lydick Bog. This land is being conserved, in part, by funding and technical assistance made available as mitigation for impacts caused by the construction and maintenance of the Reynolds Topeka Electric System Improvement Project in partnership with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.
Since 1981, Shirley Heinze Land Trust has protected, restored and maintained northwestern Indiana’s rich and significant natural communities, including tallgrass prairie, high dune, oak savanna, boreal flatwoods, dune-and-swale, woodlands, marshes, swamps, ponds, fens, bogs, and riparian habitat. More than 2,600 acres in Lake, Porter, LaPorte, and St. Joseph Counties have been preserved for the public’s benefit. Shirley Heinze nature preserves feature significant scenic and ecological value, and most are open to the public for hiking and enjoying nature. The organization also works to educate people of all ages to appreciate the importance of land conservation, and to experience the natural wonders of this unique region.
For more information on the work and nature preserves of Shirley Heinze Land Trust, visit www.heinzetrust.org, call (219) 242-8558, or access its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/heinzetrust.