Nonprofit to preserve and maintain Lydick Bog

 Celebrating the acquisition of Lydick Bog
Celebrating the acquisition of Lydick Bog (WNDU)
Published: Aug. 26, 2016 at 1:41 PM EDT
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A new way to explore wildlife is coming to St. Joseph County. Friday morning, Shirley Heinze Land Trust celebrated its acquisition of Lydick Bog.

The 176-acre property on the west side of South Bend marks a milestone for the organization.

Until now, the nonprofit’s projects have been based in Lake, Porter and La Porte counties, making this piece of land not only its first purchase in St. Joseph County, but also its largest acquisition to date.

More importantly, the property contains one of Indiana’s last remaining bog habitats, something Shirley Heinze plans to preserve for years to come.

Future plans for the land include protecting and maintaining its 65-acres of wetlands, and rare bog habitat.

That means restoring the site to its original condition by eliminating invasive species and adding plants that are natural to the area.

It doesn't stop there...the organization also hopes to attract and educate local visitors.

“We do anticipate having a capital program, which will allow us develop trails around the project and hopefully a boardwalk so people can actually get out on the bog and see what that's like,” said John Swanson, president, Shirley Heinze Land Trust.

“It’s important to foster an understanding of nature, because that's how we help preserve these areas,” said Evie Kirkwood, director, St. Joseph County Parks. “The Lydick Bog is, I hope, the first of many new projects that will benefit all of the citizens of St. Joseph County, and all of the habitats that make up the fabric of our community.”

Trails are not yet marked. Folks in attendance at Friday’s celebration were led by Shirley Heinze wildlife experts.

Before those paths and boardwalks can be developed, the organization is working to buy a two-acre property next door.

There, Shirley Heinze Land Trust hopes to build a parking facility and restrooms for hikers, along with a place to house equipment. That's slated for completion in the next year or two.

Funding for this acquisition came from organizations with similar missions and goals.

That includes the Indiana Bicentennial Nature Trust, NIPSCO, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and The Conservation Fund.

Friday morning, the Shirley Heinze Land Trust not only celebrated its latest addition, but also 35 years of saving natural environments. To learn more, click