Shirley Heinze Land Trust welcomed nearly 300 supporters and guests to its
12th annual spring benefit, ‘Finding Connections,’ on Saturday, May 16, at
Sand Creek Country Club, in Chesterton.
Master of Ceremonies was Leigh Morris, former Mayor of LaPorte. Shirley
Heinze Board President Margaret Williford welcomed attendees and thanked the
event’s sponsor, Northern Indiana Public Service Company, as well as Karner
Blue sponsor, ArcelorMittal.
Supporters of the organization’s annual “Funding the Cause” program raised
nearly $60,000 to help connect currently protected natural areas along the
Little Calumet River.
year, a coalition of approximately 20 partners in the bi-state region
succeeded in getting the Little Calumet River Corridor approved as an
Indiana Bicentennial Nature Trust Conservation Area, joining four other
designated project areas in the state. One million dollars has been set
aside by the trust for acquisitions within this corridor, to be matched
locally dollar for dollar.
Krouse, Executive Director of Shirley Heinze Land Trust, asked guests to
imagine more than 10 miles of permanently protected river corridor. “Our
effort is dedicated to raising funds and leveraging these Bicentennial
Nature Trust dollars to help us connect existing protected areas along the
Little Calumet River. It will help connect forests to adjacent wetlands,
providing habitat for wildlife. This will improve water and air quality and
reduce sediment load and flood impacts by maximizing the quality of the
floodplains over time. It will advance the NIRPC Greenways and Blueways Plan
and the Chicago Wilderness Green Infrastructure Vision.
could play an integral role in developing a National Heritage Corridor for
the Calumet Region. This project will connect kids, adults, neighbors,
schools, municipalities, and businesses to an important natural area, where
recreation and tourism benefits will be felt and people can restore their
connections to the land by hiking, fishing, kayaking, birding, and
botanizing, from Chesterton, through the Town of Porter, and into Indiana
Dunes National Lakeshore,” said Krouse.
Shirley Heinze Land Trust manages approximately 1,600 acres of natural land
in LaPorte, Lake, and Porter Counties. Five of its properties have been
dedicated to the people of Indiana as State Nature Preserves. Included in
the Heinze Trust’s holdings are examples of the spectrum of natural
communities in the region: tallgrass prairie, high dune, oak savanna, boreal
flatwoods, dune and swale, woodlands, marshes, swamps, ponds, fens, and
riparian habitat. Shirley Heinze Land Trust has also made contributions
toward the purchase of natural areas owned by other entities, including the
Indiana DNR, The Nature Conservancy, and local park departments, many of
which are open to the public.
learn more about Shirley Heinze Land Trust visit