Buck Creek Wetlands
Located in north east Henry County, Buck Creek Wetlands is part of a mosaic of wet prairies in the glacially-formed valley that today contains the Big Blue River. Spanning 44 acres near the headwaters of Buck Creek, this critical habitat was acquired by Red-tail Land Conservancy in May 2020. It is now protected forever.
Buck Creek Wetlands were formerly agricultural fields that have been restored into a wetland complex of ponds and prairie grasses. As part of the Blue River Heritage Corridor, this protected habitat has historic remnants of fens, a rare ecosystem.
The rich soil of wetlands results in abundant plant life that can support the food and shelter needs of diverse wildlife, including fish, frogs, turtles and birds.
Buck Creek Wetlands is particularly important because of its proximity to two other protected habitats that support similar plants and wildlife. Due east is Barry’s Swamp, another habitat protected by Red-tail Land Conservancy, and Summit Lake State Park. The latter is famous for the variety and amount of birds that migrate across or nest in the area.
Creating corridors of similar habitats benefits wildlife in ways that ecosystems divided by long distances cannot. These three habitats combined allow migratory birds multiple places to rest on their thousand mile journeys in the spring and fall.
Connected habitats means there is more space for wildlife to find food and shelter. It also expands the variety of food available, creating a more robust food web in case of disease or extinction.
Finally, though wetlands provide special opportunities for fishing and birding, reducing human contact with non-public nature preserves like Buck Creek Wetlands next to popular areas like Summit Lake State Park gives wildlife safety and security to live undisturbed.