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Something life-changing happened to Indiana native Kevin McKelvey in 2006 in Costa Rica. After a frustrating search for an elusive bird, he returned to the United States with a new perspective on wildlife, people, and place. Enjoy McKelvey’s fascinating tale as part of the backstory of ACRES’ 200-year Ecological Reflections initiative at Wing Haven Preserve. …

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When David and Tracy Fox, the first members of the Acorn Society, talk about being forward-thinking people, they really mean forward. They’re thinking a good century out. So it’s no surprise they became life members of ACRES in 2014, and no surprise they decided they wanted to do more. “We have seen so much growth …

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Recently, I have been telling everybody I know about the Maumee River. Among the first things I usually mention are that it sits at the center of the largest watershed in the Great Lakes region, that it drains more than 6,600 square miles of land in Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan, and that it has a …

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When Elizabeth and Mark Leppek sat down to make a list of their priorities for philanthropic giving, ACRES Land Trust immediately came to mind. The Leppeks, of Fort Wayne, say that while they appreciate the benefit of manicured parks, they find something special about wild, natural places. They consider ACRES the “hometown hero” regional equivalent …

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If you’ve been a member over the past year or so, you’ve seen amateur nature photographer Thomas Sprunger’s preserve photos on your new preserve announcement postcards and in your Quarterly. You see his work on ACRES’ website, and in our media releases. Thomas visits the preserves often, on his own; he also volunteers “on call” …

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Lauren Farrell, an intern from Huntington North High School, shares her passion for the outdoors and her work with ACRES over the past 4 months: Because of my interest in nature and the outdoors, I am delighted that ACRES accepted me as an intern this semester. I am interested in pursuing environmental studies in college. …

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Nancy: My first glimpse of the world came during an Indiana blizzard blowing a foot of fresh snow over the ground. I have felt at home in the winter landscape ever since. Although Mother Nature feigns sleep at this time of year, undercover she is alive with activity. She beckons into her wondrous, quiet world …

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Velma Caprarotta has a long history with and a deep-seated love of the Elkhart County land she recently donated to ACRES Land Trust. Born in 1924, she grew up in the farmhouse just across the road from her recently protected property. Her late husband, Francis, and his family emigrated from Italy to Chicago in 1925 …

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Although Josie has lived on the west coast for more than 40 years, her roots in east-central Indiana run deep. She grew up as an only child in Muncie, and her father died when she was 7. On long drives to Madison, Indiana, to visit relatives, Josie observed the forests, rivers and open spaces, and …

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This Saturday, 10 am, ACRES hosts a hike at Ropchan Memorial, 6830 N. 750 W, Orland, IN 46776. You’re invited to join ACRES’ volunteer Matt Dunno and naturalist Fred Wooley on the trail through this 80-acre state-dedicated nature preserve. This land tells many stories, stories of glacial change, of forests and wetlands and wildlife – …

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In 2015, Brett Bloom and his wife, Bonnie Fortune, began posting Instagram photos of their family’s ACRES hikes. Their fun, frequent images and notes reveal deep connections to place and deep thinking about land use. To better understand their perspectives, writer Teresa Vasquez and her son Miles (6) recently explored Vandolah Nature Preserve with Bonnie, …

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To date, long-time ACRES member and volunteer Dick Loney has seen roughly 467 nature preserves in Indiana. He’s also spent plenty of time on home turf, helping tend ACRES preserves. What comes of a lifetime quest—an insatiable curiosity for seeing and protecting natural Indiana firsthand? Where does one begin? “It was the 1950s. We always …

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Featured Preserve

Blue Cast Springs

By the Numbers

600+
acres of working land protected