Posted by: Reena Ramos

  • 11/04/2016

ACRES invites public to first workday on newly-open DeKalb County nature preserve

ACRES Land Trust will host a Preserve Workday at the 96-acre James P. Covell Nature Preserve, the local nonprofit’s newly-opened preserve in DeKalb County, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Friday, November 11. Workday participants will help fight non-native invasive brush. The preserve is located at approximately 2727 County Road 52, just south of Auburn and east of County Road 427.

“People love this place,” said Jason Kissel, ex­­­ecutive director of the membership-based nonprofit. “We welcomed more than 150 enthusiastic folks to the Grand Opening. This chance to invest your own sweat and hard work into a permanently-protected place engages that spirit. How often do you get to contribute to something that will be here forever?”

The James P. Covell Nature Preserve contains 2,700 feet of the west bank of Cedar Creek. Six miles downstream from the preserve, a 14-mile segment of Cedar Creek is one of only three streams designated under the 1973 Indiana Natural, Scenic and Recreational Rivers Act.

Workday participants will pick up debris and help ACRES staff control non-native invasive brush. The brush, primarily bush honeysuckle, grows rapidly, crowding out native plants, creating a monoculture and preventing native vegetation growth. New native vegetation struggle for light beneath the brush’s dense leaves.

To remove the brush, participants will lop, saw, and cut off branches and then paint stumps with glyphosate, a broad-spectrum herbicide commonly known as Roundup. ACRES, Indiana’s oldest and largest local land trust, will supply herbicide and a limited number of gloves, loppers and hand saws for the task. Workday volunteers are encouraged to bring their own gloves and tools, too.

Participants should wear long pants and long sleeves. Water will be available.

ACRES’ newest open preserve safeguards 40 acres currently in agriculture production, 33 acres of emerging upland forest and 23 acres of mature forested floodplain. Several trees in the preserve are estimated to be more than 150 years old. ACRES will eventually reforest a portion of the farmland, planting a variety of native hardwoods, restore part of it to wetland and plant an area with a mix of tall grasses.

In August, the Community Foundation of DeKalb County celebrated its 20th anniversary, awarding ACRES a $20,000 grant toward the new nature preserve. Because of this property’s statewide significance, the Bicentennial Nature Trust and Indiana Heritage Trust provided a portion of the funding needed to acquire this land. Dr. Jack and Joyce Covell, the Lupke Family Foundation, and many individual donors have also supported the project. The Auburn Lions Club made and donated preserve benches. NIPSCO is funding part of the habitat restoration and the preserve workday.

James P. Covell Nature Preserve

Event Information:
James P. Covell Nature Preserve Workday
Friday, November 11, 4 – 6 pm
Roughly 2727 County Road 52, Auburn, Indiana 46706

Work the land with your own hands! You can help cut out non-native invasive brush. Wear long pants and long sleeves. Bring your own loppers, handsaws and work gloves. A limited number will be provided.

Together with its members, ACRES preserves 6,050 acres of land in northeast Indiana, northwest Ohio and southern Michigan for future generations. You can explore more than 70 miles of trails for hiking, photography, birding, wellness, family and school visits, and adventure. Connect with ACRES Land Trust at 260-637-2273,  acreslandtrust.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ACRES.LT.