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Ball Lake Nature Preserve

Located on the north side of Ball Lake, this preserve includes a low wetland forest. Partridgeberry and other plants, likely carried here by the glaciers, grow beneath the trees. Marsh marigold and skunk cabbage flourish in the wetlands.

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Beechwood, Foster and Majneri Nature Preserves

Beechwood is adjacent to Pokagon State Park and has a mixture of habitats, including a beech/maple forest; yellow birch, red maple, red elm and blue beech trees; rolling meadows; thickets with dogwood, poison sumac, elderberry and spicebush; and a fen. Birds and wildflowers are as varied as the cover.

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These preserves protect all of Pigeon Pond and portions of Pigeon Lake and Pigeon Creek, reminding us of a time when wild pigeons visited the area. Rolling meadows, wetland forests and a kame-like hill offer opportunities for good viewing of white-tailed deer and wild turkeys. In the summertime, cardinal flower, white snakeroot and tall blue bellflower greet visitors with their respective red, …

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Marion’s Woods

This woodland, dominated by oak, hickory and cherry, is located within the city of Angola. A mature woods with very tall trees and a relatively open understory, the preserve is most unusual because a forest of this quality is rare within a city limits. There are some wet areas, so expect to see a variety of plants and animals.

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Robb Hidden Canyon is a steep-sided ravine with a clear stream running through it. There are beech and maple trees on the slopes, and a grassy meadow at the top from which a visitor has a panoramic view of Ball Lake. Beneath the trees on the slopes grow bishop’s cap, jewelweed, rue anemone, wild phlox, black cohosh, spring beauty, Virginia waterleaf and large-flowered …

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Ropchan Memorial

Here are a ridge moraine, a kettle-hole lake and boulders from rocky outcrops farther north, all visible evidence of the passing of the great glaciers. The low wetland was once an acidic bog with sphagnum moss and cranberries. Now tamarack, yellow birch and red maple grow there along with tussocks of cinnamon fern, mountain holly and winterberry. On the drier land is an …

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Glaciers sculpted this country, creating rolling hills and gravel and sand kames, as well as a kettle-hole lake, Cemetery Lake. The preserve has an upland oak/hickory forest, once-cultivated fields in different stages of succession and wetlands by the lake. This is a natural sanctuary for birds, other wildlife and plants. A platform near the creek is used by visitors looking for ducks and …

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Wing Haven

Glacially carved kettle-hole lakes are bordered by a wetland fen system. In secluded areas, sandhill cranes have established nests. There are rolling meadows and surrounding uplands covered in an oak, hickory and red maple forest. In spring, a profusion of wildflowers, including white trillium, carpet deep ravines near hundred-year-old log buildings — one now used for ACRES events and another as the caretaker’s …

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By the Numbers

59
years protecting forests, wetlands, native grasslands, prairie & working land

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Sam Ropchan