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“Get To Know Your Neighborhood Preserve” Hike @ J. Timothy Ritchie NP

April 27 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm CDT

Porter County’s J. Timothy Ritchie Nature Preserve is one of the region’s best-kept secrets, as far as nature preserves and hiking trails go. Tucked between residential streets in a quiet Chesterton neighborhood, the trails and entrance to the preserve are easily overlooked. On April 27th, we’ll pull back the curtain of mystique and offer neighbors an insightful glimpse into the rare and fascinating habitats that exist- literally- in their own back yard. Indiana University Northwest professor of biology Spencer Cortwright will lead a hike over the wooded trails, ravines, and along the banks of Sand Creek, showcasing the wonders of this unique and ecologically significant property. A wide variety of native plant species thrive within the forest understory, including some magnificent spring ephemerals that should be on display in grand fashion by the time of the hike. You’ll see the recent work volunteers have done to thin out invasive species along the trail, making room for more native plants to thrive. You’ll also get a sense of just how special local wild places like Ritchie are and why we work together to preserve and restore them.
Bloodroot blooming at Ritchie attracts pollinators of all types. (Photo courtesy of Joyce Craig)

This hike will give those living near the preserve a new appreciation for the quiet forest and allow them to “share in the miracle,” as Dr. Cortwright puts it, of J. Timothy Ritchie Nature Preserve. We’re working together to continue to inspire a heightened sense of neighborhood pride and community ownership in this amazing preserve! This event will serve as the prequel to a volunteer workday we’ll hold on May 10th to remove yard waste, garbage, and brush that has accumulated at the edge of the preserve.

A great introduction to the Ritchie preserve will be presented online on April 11th, also by Dr. Cortwright. This Zoom meeting will feature the preserve, and select others, and highlight the ecological magic that make each great. For those that haven’t been to Ritchie yet, it’ll serve as a great first look before the hike. Find out more here:

As for the hike, please dress appropriately for the weather. Conditions on the workday may be wet or chilly.  Our events are held in all types of weather, although if conditions become hazardous during or leading into the event, we may be forced to cancel abruptly. Your safety is our first concern!

Please RSVP through the website form below. Question? Call the office at 219-242-8558 or email



Thanks for signing up! See you there!!

10 Going


April 27
10:00 am - 12:00 pm CDT
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