One of Indiana’s Precious Few
By Chris Fairfield
This article is part of a series highlighting preserves where ACRES will retire trails as part of our comprehensive plan to update visitor amenities at nature preserves. For a complete list of retiring trails and public access updates, visit acreslandtrust.org/raisingourstandards.
Walking up the narrow entrance trail of Glennwood Nature Preserve, I anticipate something great and the land does not disappoint. The trail opens into a rare Northern Indiana circumneutral bog. This unique property once supported the south end of spring-fed Willet’s Lake. In the 1920s, the lake was quickly drained through the Anglin Ditch for agriculture and a gravel pit. Over the years, this drained area received minimal aeration. Fortunately, its glacial depressions filled with organic matter: Haughton muck, floating mats of sphagnum moss called hummocks and vegetation to create another wetland formation — a bog.
These 36.7 acres were part of Miami tribal territory ceded to the United States in the 1826 Treaty of Mississinewa. The acreage was later part of a larger parcel bestowed on the Anglin family by George Washington for the family’s service in the Revolutionary War. Today, thanks to the generous donation of Dr. Steven L. and Lynn Hossler of Kosciusko County, ACRES proudly owns and stewards this distinctive property.
In 2000, the Hosslers were actively looking for special land to save and enjoy. During the Hosslers’ initial inspection, hiking around an abandoned and overturned truck, a decaying silo and trash, Steven knew this acreage was exceptional. When the Hosslers attended the auction advertising the acreage as a building site or hunting ground, they doggedly outbid the timber prospectors. Three years later, they donated the preserve to ACRES in honor of Steven’s grandfather, Glenn Manwarren, who had inspired Steven to love nature during their morning countryside walks.
Under ACRES forever care, Glennwood Nature Preserve will remain one of only 15 circumneutral bogs left in Indiana; many others were drained or mined for peat. Its maturing woods will continue to provide sanctuary to wildlife migrating through the surrounding agrarian landscape. The bog will absorb and filter water impurities from rain events and runoff. Its moist habitat will provide a healthy home to a wide variety of insects, amphibians and plants such as cattails, ferns, Canada mayflower, poison sumac and even some carnivorous plants. Glennwood Nature Preserve will remain an Indiana wetland treasure.
On December 31, 2022, ACRES will retire the public trails in this special place.
This article originally appeared in the Spring 2022 ACRES Quarterly, mailed to members each season. The 20-page Quarterly features ACRES news, stories and events. You can subscribe by becoming an ACRES member with a donation of $20 or more. Click here to learn more!