Protected in early 2024, Buck Creek Fen Preserve, a 68-acre wetland habitat, is Red-tail Land Conservancy’s newest preserve. This recent land protection project adds to over 200 acres of preserved natural land in the Big Blue River Valley north of Summit Lake, in Henry County, Indiana.
Carved by the glaciers, this region historically contained a mosaic of rich habitat types, like groundwater fens, sedge meadows, and upland forests. Once restored, this new preserve has the potential to support rare and vanishing plants, provide a safe haven for migratory birds, and offer homes for many other types of wildlife.
Buck Creek Fen Preserve is in the historic Big Blue River Wetland Complex, a Priority Conservation Region outlined in Red-tail’s Strategic Conservation Plan. Comprised of rich water-retaining soils, rare wetland plant species have been recorded in this area making it an exciting restoration project. Buck Creek Fen Preserve will be transformed back to a wetland habitat by rerouting waterways and grading topography back to a natural state. Invasive plants will be removed and special wetland plants and native trees will be planted.
When this potential wetland acreage came up for auction, several individuals and funding partners answered the urgent call to help Red-tail Land Conservancy protect this critical addition to an essential wildlife corridor. Nearly half the $552,000 acquisition cost was raised. Red-tail Land Conservancy is now fundraising to repay a bridge loan taken out to secure the property.
The community has an opportunity to advance conservation in east central Indiana by preserving this land and restoring Buck Creek Fen Preserve’s wetland habitat. Since settlement, Indiana has lost 85% of its wetlands. Investing in Buck Creek Fen Preserve unlocks the potential of this land for clean water, flood control, wildlife habitat, and carbon sequestration for the region. Buck Creek Fen Preserve is a chance to be part of a legacy to preserve and restore land that supports rare wildlife for future generations.
For more information on how to support Buck Creek Fen Preserve’s restoration project, please contact Julie Borgmann at Julie@fortheland.org.