The Central Indiana Land Trust has worked to conserve natural areas since 1990. Their purchase of the land will guarantee its preservation from development and keep it open for the public. This recent addition features large sections of forest, unbroken by roads, and an interior that houses Indiana forest natives like the hooded and worm-eating warblers, the Eastern Box Turtle and the state endangered cerulean warbler.
“It’s only 20 miles from the heart of Indianapolis, and you can see an endangered species there,” Bob Meyer said.
Enough rare species live in the region to sustain a population.
“That’s especially important because we want to ensure that the land is sustainable and these unique inhabitants are there for many future generations to enjoy,” Cliff Chapman, conservation director at the Land Trust, said.
Bob Meyer’s gift to the Central Indiana Land Trust made the land purchase possible, continuing a family tradition of conservation. Bob’s father, Fred Meyer played a large role in establishing Indiana’s first dedicated Nature Preserve in 1969, while serving as a board member in The Nature Conservancy’s Indiana chapter. The property that Bob Meyer helped acquire is now part of the Fred and Dorothy Meyer Nature Preserve.
The land is part of the Long Ridge Core Conservation Area and is considered “core forest” as part of a science-based strategic conservation plan developed with the region’s stakeholders. A section of the preserve, Shalom Woods, was already protected by the Land Trust, which received it from the Cohen family in the 1990s.
The property resides in the northernmost region of Indiana, which was not covered by glaciers around 16,000 years ago. Since the land was sustainably harvested for timber the ridges, which are unique to the area, remain intact today.
The Central Indiana Land Trust is working on a parking area so that visitors may enjoy the preserve.
“We’re pleased that the Land Trust will maintain this property and provide it as a natural resource for all of us in Morgan County to use,” Kenny Hale, Morgan County plan director and president of the County Council said.
To create the Fred and Dorothy Meyer Preserve the Central Indiana Land Trust partnered with the Indiana Heritage Trust, which added to the purchase by the sale of Indiana environmental license plates. The Amos W. Butler Audubon Society also contributed to purchase the property for $132,000 at auction. Once the preserve has been dedicated it will be one of more than 220 Nature Preserves in the state.