MICHIGAN CITY — Shirley Heinze Land Trust will host an educational bus tour along the east branch of the Little Calumet River and its tributaries in La Porte and Porter Counties on Oct. 12 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
According to Shirley Heinze Land Trust, the tour will highlight the conservation work underway along the river at a number of properties permanently protected by the organization, as well as county, town and national park properties that are also being restored.
Stops will be made at Red Mill County Park in La Porte, Frame Little Calumet Conservation Area in Michigan City, Dale B. Engquist Nature Preserve, Wykes-Plampin Nature Preserve, and Keith Richard Walner Nature Preserve in Chesterton, Hawthorne Park in Porter, Coffee Creek Watershed Preserve in Chesterton, and the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk. During the ride, staff members will provide insights on land conservation and the ecology and geology of northwestern Indiana. Guest speakers Paul Labovitz, superintendent of the Indiana Dunes National Park, Annette Hansen, executive director of the Porter County Chapter of the Izaak Walton League, and Katie Rizer, executive director of Coffee Creek Watershed Conservancy will meet the bus at their respective locations.
The bus will depart promptly from the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center, located at 1215 Ind. 49, Porter, at 8 a.m. The tour will stop for lunch at Meadowbrook Conservation Center and Nature Preserve in Valparaiso, with food provided by Third Coast Spice Cafe. The bus will return to the Visitor center at 3 p.m.
The cost for the tour is $40 per person. Reservations are required and may be made online at www.heinzetrust.org, or by calling (219) 242-8558. The deadline for reservations is Oct. 7. Payment must be made in advance. Seating is limited, so early reservations are advised. The bus is restroom equipped.
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 2,400 acres in Lake, Porter, La Porte, 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. Six of its properties have been dedicated to the people of Indiana as state nature preserves.
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.