Rum Village Park

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Rum Village

Near the heart of South Bend is Rum Village Park. This 160-acre area is a wildlife haven and offers hiking and biking trails, picnic areas, and a place to escape to one of the nicest woodlands in the area.

The Rum Village Nature Center invites parents and teachers to help children claim their deed to a piece of land in Rum Village Park.  The Nature IN-Deed is an invitation to you to learn about the land - the pond or forest habitat, the creatures that live there - and how to care for your land.

Then once you have your deed, find your very own spot in the Park! Walk along the Indian Trail to find your spot in the forest. To find your spot near the vernal ponds, take the Spicebush Trail.

Get The Deeds

Getting a deed for your student or child is easy – we promise! Just provide some basic information and the deed will be done.

Are you at least 14 years old?

Ask a parent or other trusted adult to assist you. If you have their assistance, answer "Yes" to Question #1.

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  • Pond Habitat
  • Forest Habitat
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Vernal Pond Habitat

At Rum Village Park, we are fortunate to have a unique type of habitat, known as a vernal pond. The word “vernal” means “spring time”, so that tells us when these wetlands are full of water, and life. Frogs, toads and salamanders use these ponds in spring, when they are laying eggs. By the time they have gone from egg, to larva, to adult, the ponds are drying out. But that’s OK, since the young amphibians are now developed enough to hop or crawl away into a different wetland, or suitable location.

Interested in a lesson and field trip for your students to learn more about vernal ponds? Contact Garry Harrington and Hannah Teshka, naturalists at the Rum Village Nature Center
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Mixed Deciduous Forest

Rum Village Park is home to a kind of ecosystem known as Mixed Deciduous Forest. This ecosystem formerly covered much of the eastern United States. We are privileged to have this living vestige of that great forest within the city limits of South Bend. It’s home to 25 different species of trees, with many of them being over 150 years old. And it’s not just trees that thrive at Rum Village. Wildflowers, mushrooms and ferns, reptiles and amphibians, mammals and a 100-plus species of birds find a safe haven in Rum Village Park.    

Interested in a lesson and field trip for your students to learn more about mixed deciduous forests? Contact Garry Harrington and Hannah Teshka, naturalists at the Rum Village Nature Center