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Art Hammer Wetlands

The Art Hammer Wetlands is the largest ACRES preserve. It has a variety of habitats: swamp forest with cottonwood and sycamore trees, upland forest with oaks and hickories, a small lake,  portions of the Elkhart River and areas of low wetlands. Birds and wildflowers are diverse. Wood ducks, mallards, other ducks and coots are seen on the water. Woodland birds fly among …

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This was a “Green Grocer” farm where vegetables were grown and sold to the residents of Kendallville and the surrounding area. Now trees, including many redbuds, grow where corn and beans and other produce once grew. Round Lake forms a wetland boundary along the northeast part of the preserve. Plants include shrubby cinquefoil, red osier dogwood, cattails and sedges. Birds are as …

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The Edna W. Spurgeon Woodland Reserve was the first ACRES property. It’s an area of low ridges, or kames, left by glaciers and cut by glacial meltwater. A climax forest of beech, sugar maple and tulip trees that are among the largest in the state covers the area. Beneath the trees grow large-flowered and sessile trillium (also known as toadshade), blue-eyed Mary, bloodroot, …

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This little gem’s level trails meander through a beautiful upland woods dominated by beech trees ranging from saplings to mature trees. The larger trees with smooth gray bark are reminiscent of columns rising toward the canopy. In late fall, you can recognize the beech saplings because they hold their light-tan leaves well into winter. Some of the property’s largest trees are oaks, …

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Enter this preserve on a short boardwalk in a wetland, then go uphill and downhill, traversing a wetland forest, an upland forest, an area of forested floodplain of the Elkhart River called The Spreads and a brushy section of sedge meadow. The variety of habitats is matched by the variety of trees, birds and wildflowers. There are burr oaks, white oaks, hickories, …

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Lonidaw

Lonidaw is a Native American name meaning “Spirit Queen of the Woods.” The wife of Potowatomi Chief Simon Pokagon bore the name. Perhaps her spirit is still among the beech and maple trees on the high ground, or the sugar maple, red elm, walnut and hackberry standing on the lower ground. Maybe her spirit is among the wildflowers: wild columbine and celandine poppy …

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By the Numbers

150+
volunteers worked 2,500 hours in the field, office and on the trails

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Dave Brumm