NEW CASTLE, Ind., Feb. 2, 2024 — Red-tail Land Conservancy is proud to announce the successful protection of a vital piece of a historic wetland and wildlife corridor with the acquisition of Buck Creek Fen Preserve, a 68-acre wetland habitat in the heart of the Big Blue River Valley north of Summit Lake in Henry County. This announcement comes on World Wetlands Day, a day recognizing the contributions of wetlands to flood control, water quality, carbon sequestration, and wildlife habitat.
Carved by glaciers and historically home to a mosaic of rich habitat types, including groundwater fens, sedge meadows, and upland forests, Buck Creek Fen Preserve marks a significant addition to over 200 acres of preserved natural land in the region. It protects historic fens, a special and rare type of wetland characterized by mineral-rich soils and a high level of plant biodiversity.
Buck Creek Fen Preserve is situated within the historic Big Blue River Wetland Complex, a Priority Conservation Region outlined in Red-tail’s Strategic Conservation Plan. “With rich water-retaining soils and the presence of unique wetland plants, Buck Creek Fen Preserve is a compelling restoration project that promises to support rare and vanishing plants, provide a safe haven for migratory birds, and offer homes for various wildlife species,” said Julie Borgmann, Red-tail’s Executive Director.
As part of the restoration efforts, Buck Creek Fen Preserve will undergo transformation back to its natural wetland habitat. This involves rerouting waterways, grading topography, removing invasive plants, and reintroducing special native wetland grasses, flowers, sedges, and trees. The restoration project aligns with Red-tail Land Conservancy’s dedication to preserving and enhancing biodiversity in the region.
The acquisition of Buck Creek Fen Preserve was made possible through the collaborative efforts of several individuals and funding partners who answered the urgent call to protect this critical addition to an essential wildlife corridor. Nearly half of the $552,000 acquisition cost was raised through their support. Red-tail Land Conservancy is currently engaged in fundraising initiatives to repay a bridge loan that was instrumental in securing the property. The community now has an opportunity to advance conservation efforts in east central Indiana by supporting the preservation of Buck Creek Fen Preserve and the restoration of its wetland habitat.
“These exceptional pockets of biodiversity are disappearing treasures of our natural heritage in east central Indiana. Investing in Buck Creek Fen Preserve presents an opportunity for individuals to be part of a lasting legacy, contributing to the preservation and restoration of remarkable land that will support rare wildlife for generations to come,” said Borgmann.
For more information on how to support Buck Creek Fen Preserve’s restoration project, please contact Julie Borgmann at Julie@fortheland.org.
Pictured: Red-tail’s Board President John Taylor and Executive Director Julie Borgmann