The Friends of Shirley Heinze Land Trust announce that applications are being accepted for their third annual “Bringing Nature Home” Awards given to landscapes which use native plants. In the last two years, about twenty individuals, schools, developers, towns, and other institutions have been honored with this award.
All plantings in Lake, Porter, and LaPorte counties are eligible. Applications can be downloaded from www.heinzetrust.org/bringing-nature-home . The deadline is July 26, 2013. The Friends of the Heinze Trust will visit the plantings, and awards will be given in the fall.
Scientific studies have shown that planting native plants is beneficial to birds, butterflies, and all native animals because the plants attract the native insects which are the base of the food chain. Since so much of the ecosystems which existed before settlement have been replaced, planting natives is one way individuals and entities can help to bring nature back to Northwest Indiana. The program is named after a well known book by Douglas Tallamy, Bringing Nature Home. Dr. Tallamy’s studies prove the benefit of native plantings.
Shirley Heinze Land Trust manages approximately 1,300 acres of natural land in LaPorte, Lake, and Porter Counties. Five of its properties – Cressmoor Prairie, Seidner Dune & Swale, John Merle Coulter Preserve, Barker Woods, and Ambler Flatwoods – have been dedicated to the people of Indiana as State Nature Preserves. Included in the Heinze Trust’s holdings are examples of the entire spectrum of natural communities in this area: tallgrass prairie, high dune, oak savanna, boreal flatwoods, dune and swale, woodlands, marshes, swamps, ponds, fens, and riparian habitat. The Heinze Trust has also made contributions toward the purchase of natural areas owned by other entities, including the Indiana DNR, The Nature Conservancy, LaPorte County Parks, Lake County Parks, and the Portage Parks Department.
Photo #1: Porter county - Beverly Shores Environmental Restoration Group garden
Photo #2: Lake county - Hammond Academy of Science and Technology garden
Photo #2: La Porte county - International Friendship Garden