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Folsom, communications director for Sycamore Land Trust, says that one of the best features of Sycamore’s preserves is their accessibility: “Most properties where we host public hikes are short, flat, and wide,� she says. “The longest is only about 2 miles, and the hills aren’t super steep. One [trail] in Evansville can accommodate strollers and wheelchairs.� In addition to being highly accessible, the trails at Sycamore do not require that hikers use any special equipment. According to Folsom, “Environment and weather determine the guidelines for gear� for any given hike. Besides Frogs, Rails, and Eagles, other popular hikes center upon spider spying and tree identification. In the latter, participants learn how to identify trees in winter. stablished in 1990, Sycamore Land Trust is guided by the mission “to preserve the disappearing natural and agricultural landscape of southern Indiana.� The organization started out

small; according to Folsom, it began with “10 or 15 people who wanted to save green space. At first it was all volunteer-run.� Since then it has grown exponentially, now protecting 8,000 acres of hardwood forests,

“I encourage people to get out and explore what the area has to offer.� – Katrina Folsom family farms, native prairies, important wetlands, and critical habitat in 15 Indiana counties. Sycamore does its work by means of conservation easements, various kinds of donations, and outright purchases of land. The individuals who started the organization were concerned about the sad state of environmental conservation in Indiana. According to the organization’s website, Indiana ranks 46th in the nation “in the

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amount of land protected for public enjoyment.� A particularly striking acquisition is the Laura Hare Nature Preserve at Downey Hill, a 600-acre parcel that Sycamore purchased only recently from a group of investors that had bought the property in the mid1980s. Their purchase had essentially saved the parcel from being developed into a sub-division. On March 23, Sycamore is organizing a clean up of the preserve, which, according to the organization’s website, “helps create a block of nearly 18,000 acres of contiguous forest habitat� that includes Brown County State Park and Gnawbone Camp. “We’re a local, homegrown organization, and there are so many opportunities for people to make a long-term impact on their community,� says Folsom. “I encourage people to get out and explore what the area has to offer.� For a complete list of spring 2013 activities, interested parties can visit sycamorelandtrust.org, subscribe to its newsletter, or follow Sycamore Land Trust on Facebook and Twitter.

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Profile for Hoosier Times Inc.

Adventure Indiana | Spring 2013  

South-Central Indiana's Adventure Magazine

Adventure Indiana | Spring 2013  

South-Central Indiana's Adventure Magazine

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