Posted by: Elijah Stewart

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  • 11/22/2023

Retiring Trails: Brammall & Richard Bruner Nature Preserves

If you are looking down at the Brammall and Richard Bruner Nature Preserves from above, they look like a tiny woodland flanked by a small kettle lake, a busy highway and lots of farmland.

From ground level, you can see that the Brammall/Bruner Nature Preserve is a special 124-acre sanctuary with big land and water connections. Diverse in nature, it features a wetland forest, meadowlands and shallow lake habitat. A variety of wildflowers thrive in its sand, marl and clay soils. Breeding and migrating waterfowl and some endangered animal species depend on its acreage. The land not only solidifies wildlife access to the southern 80 acres of Pigeon Lake’s northern basin, it also completely encircles Little Pigeon Lake’s southern shallow water basin. These two basins help improve water quality by giving the water time to rest and soak there before flowing and winding with the headwaters of Pigeon Creek, Pigeon River and Fawn River, eventually discharging into Lake Michigan. The waters of these preserves and others are vital to Indiana’s growing communities, recreational pursuits and natural wellbeing.

Fall colors shine brightly at Pigeon Lake in Brammall and Bruner Nature Preserve.
Photo by Tom Sprunger

Two Preserves Will Be As One

Under ACRES forever care, the two parcels today are connected as one. The plots were transferred to ACRES through the generosity and foresight of two families holding and stewarding these adjacent properties. First, until 2004, the preserve containing 80 acres, known as Brammall Nature Preserve, was owned and enjoyed by Terry and Nancy Brammall, avid outdoor enthusiasts and lifelong learners. Then in 2012, June Bruner, at the request of her late husband, Richard Bruner, transferred to ACRES Richard’s and her adjoining properties, totaling 43 acres. This conveyance completed the preservation of the Little Pigeon Lake shore. To ensure the lakeshore’s natural integrity, ACRES was granted an Indiana Department of Natural Resources Conservation Easement.

The Future

As part of ACRES comprehensive plan to update visitor amenities at our nature preserves, the Brammall and Richard Bruner Nature Preserves will close to the public on December 31, 2023. Learn more at acreslandtrust.org/raisingourstandards.

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