two people hiking on the frozen waters of Ross Run at Hathaway nature preserve

Posted by: Elijah Stewart

  • 01/03/2024

Looking Back: Creek Stomp

Summer 2009, the first Creek Stomp was announced in the Quarterly. This widely popular Ross Run Creek event has been annual ever since. Each year, participants get up close and personal with minnows, snakes, frogs, leeches, crayfish, salamanders, insects, fossils and waterfalls.

In 2010, the event was renamed Creek Stomp. Since the event has occurred for 15 years, I’ve enjoyed seeing creek stompers grow up. Foster, whose hand I held onto during years when the water was raging (and whose boots I repeatedly dumped out as they filled with water) is now a 13-year-old young man. Ben and Josie are now juniors at Ball State. Anna is a senior in high school.

Connecting With Nature

The goal of all ACRES events is connecting people with nature. Creek Stomps are unique opportunities to deepen our connection with nature through direct contact.

Winter Creek Stomps leave you with icy feet and hands that make you wonder how minnows survive swimming in the frigid water. Summer Creek Stomps provide answers to “I wonder how bad a crayfish pinch feels?” When standing under a waterfall, you begin to realize the amount of water flowing through Ross Run, and then — you wonder where it all comes from.

Creek Stomps provide unscripted access to nature. You learn that (along with some sources of discomfort for humans), nature provides endless wonder and excitement. And the Stomps may lead you to ask questions leading to a better understanding of the natural world which, in turn, often leads to a love of the natural world.

The creek is normally off limits as visitors are required to stay on designated trails. ACRES holds this special member-only event two times per year. Sign up for the next Creek Stomp for members, held January 13 — and bring your child or grandchild. They’ll experience minutes of amazement, hours of being cold, and perhaps a lifetime of respect for and awe of nature.

Not an ACRES member yet? Join today to help ACRES protect local land and enjoy benefits like members-only events.

This article originally appeared in the Winter 2023 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!