Salamander Swale is a forested hillside surrounding a small wetland. The canopy is thick with sugar maple, beech, oak, black cherry, and tulip trees. A rich layer of wild ginger and spring flowers makes a carpet beneath fragrant spicebush patches. The wetland’s vibrant green moss and lichen-covered logs create a sense of magic and stillness. This preserve is alive with songs from birds and frogs. Named for the many species of salamander that thrive in moist soils, Salamander Swale is a showcase for the wild beauty of a wetland.
Salamander Swale does not have any established trails. The entrance is an opening in the boundary fencing along Cottonwood Ln. Visitors to this wildlife sanctuary should take care not to disturb the delicate amphibians and sensitive plants that make up this wetland habitat.
In the 1980s, a small group of Ball State University science professors who understood the critical nature of this wetland raised support for its protection. The Nature Conservancy purchased it from Max and Cheryl Buell in 1982. After four decades of preserving and managing the habitat, The Nature Conservancy transferred ownership of Salamander Swale to Red-tail Land Conservancy, their local conservation partner, in January 2023. Red-tail Land Conservancy will continue to protect and care for Salamander Swale in perpetuity.