Posted by: Bridgett Hernandez

  • 08/29/2022

ACRES completes headquarters improvements

Recent improvements to our headquarters have increased our capacity to do even more!

Thanks to your generous support, ACRES is pleased to announce the completion of its headquarters expansion at the Tom and Jane Dustin Nature Preserve!

The project took two years to complete and includes a newly-constructed maintenance barn, improved lane access, new signs, accessibility improvements to the office, native landscaping, an observation deck and the first phase of a new accessible trail. These improvements enable ACRES to better serve its mission to protect local land as well as those who make that mission possible.

ACRES intern Christopher Shively and Stewardship Assistant Gavin King prepare for a day of invasive species management.

The Art Hammer Barn houses supplies and heavy equipment necessary for stewarding the land ACRES members protect. These items were once stored in various locations across our 27-county service area, costing the organization time and money when coordinating field work. Today the ACRES stewardship team begins and ends their day in one location and operates much more efficiently and effectively now that their tools, supplies and equipment are well organized and safely stored. The barn also provides much-needed workspace for making equipment repairs, light construction and storage for surplus seeds, signs and other items.

Volunteers constructed the observation deck over Cedar Creek.

Visitors to the preserve can explore a 1/3-mile accessible trail made of crushed, packed limestone that is suitable for wheelchairs, walkers, strollers and other mobility devices. Additionally, an accessible observation deck situated on a cliff high above Cedar Creek provides the perfect spot to sit for a spell.

Volunteers work in the expanded native garden.

Improvements to the office provide a warmer welcome to all who visit with brand new accessible parking and restrooms and a custom wall mural and merchandise display by The Hedge artist Julie Wall. Additional renovations add workspace for staff and volunteers alike and new technology in the meeting space means meetings, presentations and gatherings continue to be hosted on site. New native landscaping is home to more than 1,000 flowering perennial plants, grasses and sedges, shrubs and trees.

Major contributors to this project include the Geoff & Josie Fox Family Foundation, Cairn Foundation, Lone Coyote Foundation, Fairfield’s Rare Coins & Jewelry, Sledd Foundation, NIPSCO, AEP Foundation, Edward & Hildegarde Schaefer Foundation, Hand Family Foundation, a generous Allen County couple and many other thoughtful donors. ACRES members, Board of Directors, committee members and volunteers also played a pivotal role in the success of this project.

Please join us on Saturday, September 10 from 1 to 3 pm to celebrate ACRES headquarters grand reopening! We’ll have something fun for all ages — face painting, a scavenger hunt and the opportunity to meet birds from Soarin’ Hawk Raptor Rehabilitation! Come explore the campus improvements, hike the trails and learn how you can get involved in our mission to protect local land.

ACRES Grand Reopening
Saturday, September 10
1-3 pm
ACRES Land Trust
1802 Chapman Road
Huntertown, IN 46748

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