View some of the beautiful lands preserved in our area during Oct. 14 bus tour


The Shirley Heinze Land Trust will host a bus tour of its nature preserves in LaPorte, Porter and Lake counties on Saturday, Oct. 14, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. During the ride, Heinze representatives and guest speakers will explain the importance and significance of each preserved area.

Twelve preserves are included during the tour, with stops at four locations. Departing at 8 a.m. from the Meadowbrook Conservation Center and Nature Preserve at 109 W. 700 North, Valparaiso, the tour will continue to:

— John Merle Coulter Nature Preserve in Portage

— Seidner Dune & Swale in Hammond, a 46-acre preserve along the Grand Calumet River

— The Hobart Marsh project area

— Hidden Prairie/Ivory Wetlands west of I-65

— Bur Oak Woods and Gordon & Faith Greiner Nature Preserve, both in Hobart

— Cressmoor Prairie, Hobart

— Lunch at Meadowbrook Conservation Center and Nature Preserve near Valparaiso, with food provided by Third Coast Spice Cafe

— Wykes-Plampin Nature Preserve in Chesterton

— Dale B. Engquist Nature Preserve, adjacent to Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore’s Heron Rookery

— Ambler Flatwoods project area in Michigan City

— Meer Woods, a recent 19-acre addition near Michigan City

— Great Marsh in Beverly Shores and the Great Marsh Trail. Herons, egrets, and sandhill cranes can often be seen at this wetland restoration area.

The tour will return to Meadowbrook at 3:30 p.m.

Cost for the bus tour is $40 per person. Reservations are required and may be made by calling (219) 242-8558 by Oct. 9. Seating is limited, so early reservations are advised. The bus is restroom equipped.

Shirley Heinze Land Trust, a state nonprofit corporation, has been protecting and preserving natural land since 1981. The organization accomplishes its work through a partnership of volunteers, donors and professionals. Endowed as a charitable trust in 1981 through a gift by Mr. & Mrs. Robert L. Seidner, it was named to honor the memory of Dr. Shirley Heinze, an Ogden Dunes resident dedicated to protecting the Indiana Dunes. Dr. Heinze, who died in 1978, was a psychologist and faculty member at the University of Illinois at Chicago. More than 2,300 acres in Lake, Porter, LaPorte 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.

For more information, visit and its Facebook page,

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