Outdoor Indiana - November/December 2017 - Featured Stories

From the Director
Trailing
Destinations
CONNECTING DNR WITH MILITARY HISTORY TEACHING THROUGH THE LENS OF STATE PARKS

From the Director

SHARING PASSION IN CIVIL FASHION

DNR Director Cameron ClarkIf you are passionate about our natural resources, you are our kind of person. Passion spawns interest and ideas for improvement.

From managing state forests, to forming hunting regulations, to developing trails, to adding park amenities and more, our mission of doing what’s best to "protect, enhance, preserve, and wisely use the natural, cultural, and recreational resources" of Indiana guides us. To make decisions, we use as much available information and science as we can, plus input from interested, informed people like you.

Often the input we receive reflects a diversity of opinion. So naturally some of that input may differ from the DNR's outlook. When the DNR does something that doesn't match your view, it doesn't mean we didn't listen but that we see the issue differently.

We are always open to public input and civil discourse. Unfortunately, in today’s world, civil discourse is becoming a thing of the past. So when we disagree, I ask you to remember this: We have far more in common than not. Passion for our natural resources is one thing we share. Focusing on that shared passion can keep even our most passionate discussions civil.

We've worked together to manage our natural resources for well over 100 years. Along the way people have disagreed with some of what we’ve done. But from restoring forests, to bringing back deer and turkey populations, to reclaiming damaged habitat and increasing recreational opportunities, we as Hoosiers can boast of a lot of success.

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Trailing

POTATO CREEK PAVED TRAIL
Prairies, forests, wetlands, creeks and more
By Nick Werner, OI staff

Potato Creek State Park's paved bike trail provides casual cycling among leaves changing color.Sure, the surface is paved.

But on the bicycle trail at Potato Creek State Park, imagining yourself as a surveyor on horseback exploring the original Indiana landscape doesn't take much effort.

That's because the 3.3-mile trail passes through so many habitat types in such a short time, including sweeping prairies that offer a glimpse into just how big the country's grasslands were.

The nearly 4,000-acre Potato Creek is about 12 miles south of busy South Bend, but it feels a world away, especially on the bicycle trail. The trail is open to bicyclists, hikers and cross-country skiers.

Cutline: Potato Creek State Park's paved bike trail provides casual cycling among leaves changing color.

To read the rest of this article subscribe to Outdoor Indiana or pick up a copy at most Barnes and Noble bookstores, and state park inns. To subscribe, click here or call (317) 233-3046.

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Destinations

CLEGG MEMORIAL GARDEN
"Home of the Shooting Stars"
Story & Photos by John Maxwell, OI staff

Wildcat Creek, a state-designated scenic river, flows along the western edge of Clegg Memorial Garden near Lafayette during early November.Clegg Memorial Garden curls along and overlooks Wildcat Creek near the eastern edge of Lafayette. The natural area’s profuse spring wildflowers, scenic creek overlooks and handy location near town has long made it a favorite jaunt for local outdoor enthusiasts.

Cutline: Wildcat Creek, a state-designated scenic river, flows along the western edge of Clegg Memorial Garden near Lafayette during early November.

To read the rest of this article subscribe to Outdoor Indiana or pick up a copy at most Barnes and Noble bookstores, and state park inns. To subscribe, click here or call (317) 233-3046.

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CONNECTING DNR WITH MILITARY HISTORY TEACHING THROUGH THE LENS OF STATE PARKS

Indiana plays key role in life of endangered whooping crane
By Nick Werner, OI staff
Photography by Frank Oliver, OI staff

DNR's Ben Clark, left, and honorary historian Bill Dallman walk through a restricted area of Versailles State Park where remnants of Civil War era homes remain.Charlestown State Park has secrets.

Almost half of the 5,100-acre property is restricted, guarded with wire fence, gates and turnstiles.

Like the setting of an apocalyptic movie, the land within encompasses a former military facility. Dusty buildings look as if they were sealed in a time capsule. Low-tech control panels, Cold War era signs warning about explosive materials and security log books are strewn about. In a housing development for military officers, 52 homes exist in various states of decay. Some have shed their exterior walls like eerie dollhouses.

"It looks like 'The Walking Dead,' " said Jeremy Beavin, the park’s interpretive naturalist.

Cutline: DNR's Ben Clark, left, and honorary historian Bill Dallman walk through a restricted area of Versailles State Park where remnants of Civil War era homes remain.

To read the rest of this article subscribe to Outdoor Indiana or pick up a copy at most Barnes and Noble bookstores, and state park inns. To subscribe, click here or call (317) 233-3046.

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