Let’s Finish This! by Nate Simons

Blue Heron Ministries has steadily over the last few years transformed the boulevard entrance to the Trine State Recreational Area. As “statement” that reflects the original landscape of Lakes Country, Ted Bohman, property manager, requested that we build a prairie at the property’s entrance. Volunteers of Blue Heron Ministries, Pokagon State Park staff and park volunteers have worked side-by-side to plant plugs of short-stature prairie grasses and prairie wildflowers. Some of the plants have been purchased from nurseries specializing in Indiana native plants (Spence Restoration Nursery in Muncie and Heartland Restoration Services in Fort Wayne) and some of the plant plugs have been created by Blue Heron Ministries’ volunteers.

Monies ran out with 190 feet of the entrance boulevard to go. Late this winter, a plea went out to the Steuben County Community Foundation for help to finish the project.
The Steuben County Community Foundation provided a grant for $3,565 from the Ralph E. Taylor Conservation Fund to complete the project. This donor advised fund is supported and advised by Cheryl Taylor, Ralph E. Taylor’s widow and longtime supporter of Steuben County and area conservation projects. The Ralph E. Taylor Fund provided a grant in Fall 2015 to continue the efforts to enhance the entry to Trine State Recreation Area with native prairie vegetation. Cheryl was pleased with the opportunity to complete the project and said, “Again, and always, this gift reflects what Ralph thought was important. All these grants are in honor of him and his commitment that the outdoors is for everybody. Everyone deserves to see the beauty and wonder nature has to bring.”
We plan to gather Wednesday June 8 at Phil Bieberich’s greenhouse (8385 E 300 N, Howe) to once again build prairie plugs from local, hand-collected seed. With tender care and lots of water and fertilizer, we hope to have the prairie plugs ready to plant in the entrance boulevard at Trine State Recreation Area around Labor Day this year.
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