As we look back and celebrate another great year for Ouabache Land Conservancy that is leading to a better quality of life in our little part of the world, it could not be done without all of us working together!
OLC was very active in 2016. First off, we are very excited that we have been approved for an Indiana Department of Environmental Management Section 319 Watershed Improvement Grant and a TNC grant to write a Water Quality Management Plan for the Otter Creek Watershed. To jump-start this effort OLC had its first Field Day for Otter Creek Watershed stakeholders in August. Thanks go to the presenters: Adam Grossman (OLC), Josh Brosmer (IDEM), Courtney Natt (ISU), Brendan Kearns (OLC), Dr. John Whitaker (OLC), Jerimiah Lemmons (DNR); and to Evan Boyer (OLC) for organizing this event! In addition, thanks to our sponsors: Sycamore Trails RC&D; Vigo, Clay, and Parke County SWCDs; The Nature Conservancy; Alcoa Foundation; and Baesler's Market. Thanks to all of you we were able to start getting the word out about this much anticipated project to many new stakeholders in the Otter Creek Watershed. We look forward to continuing these partnerships and our other 319 Grant partnerships (see last year's newsletter for a complete list) to improve Otter Creek's water quality.
Next, OLC was also able to get an additional 123 acres of the McDonald Farm in a Conservation Easement. Thanks to Jim McDonald and Hansford Mann for getting this done.
Some of my favorite activities were the Spring Wildflower and Fall Foilage Hikes at our properties. It was so awesome to see families coming to enjoy the great outdoors. I was thrilled to see children running through the woods and prairie, while learning about the environment; isn't that what OLC is all about! Please visit the OLC Facebook page to see some great photos of these hikes.
We are also very excited that we have four new Directors. Dr. Susan Berta, ISU Associate Professor, who steps up from the Advisory Board to continue to help us with her mapping skills. Dr. Dennis Tarasi, St. Mary-of-the-Woods College Assistant Professor of Ecology, who has already been very active with projects at Jackson-Schnyder Nature Preserve and more. Lisa Baer, Author and Educator, has jumped in with both feet having been our Secretary for most of 2016. Thomas Baer (Lisa's husband) is a Wabash River enthusiast ((check out his Wabashiki Inc. Facebook page), and has been involved in Board meetings and helping with invasive species control projects already. Welcome ALL!! So many people to thank and so little space to do it, THANKS TO ALL OF YOU THAT HELP OLC PRESERVE LAND!!
Lastly, please consider making a tax deductible donation to OLC. There are at least three ways you can do this now: 1) There is a membership for on page 5 of the most recent newsletter, 2) there is a pre-addressed envelope enclosed in this newsletter (if you are receiving it by snail mail), 3) Donate online via our website. Also, you can donate to OLC when you shop AmazonSmile.
Thanks for your continued support!