Tree Planting Update

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Staff and volunteers from The Nature Conservancy and Cope Environmental Center tabulate the tree survival rate from the planting in May 2018 on this year's Kids to Parks Day, May 18, 2019.

Before the settlers came, the Children of Indiana Nature Park was a Tillplain forest, which means that a flourishing forest grew in the area over the many years after the glaciers receded.  Throughout the 1800’s, settlers began to farm and work the land in the area around the Park.  The most recent owners maintained 6 acres as a hay pasture to mow and keep feed for livestock over the winter. Now that this land has become the Children of Indiana Nature Park, the Cope Environmental Center and The Nature Conservancy partnered to develop a plan to return the Park to woods more like the original Tillplain forest.

With this goal in mind, the employees, volunteers and kids at Cope planted trees at Kids to Parks Day in 2018. Kids helped plant 3,000 trees on those 6 acres of the Children of Indiana Nature Park. A variety of tree species were planted, including hardwood trees like black walnut, Ohio buckeye, and pawpaw.

One year later, we surveyed how many of those trees survived the Midwest winter. Of the seedlings that were planted, nearly all grew to be saplings, sprouting bright green leaves for the summer. The reforestation effort is going well, and “volunteer” trees are growing naturally alongside our original trees.  Knowing that some of the saplings may die off due to natural causes, others may be eaten by deer, and others may become too shaded by faster-growing trees, we made sure to plant extra trees.

Each year, we will return to the site to check on these trees, and to see how they grow into a mature forest.  We hope that you will join us to monitor these trees and see the transformation of your forest in the Children of Indiana Nature Park.

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Kids to Parks Day 2019 Fun

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Fun at the 2019 Kids to Parks Day

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Staff and volunteers condect the tree survy.