If you love Indiana, she'll break your heart. Indiana people look at a creek and call it a ditch. They see a farm fencerow and tell you they'll clean it out for free just for the firewood. They complain about the condition of their roads, but spend millions on chemicals so that no cattail or wildflower will survive at the highway's edge. Hoosiers think that everything and everyone has a price. They have commodified both the land and themselves. In sum, they are the most devout materialists you will find anywhere.
But not all of them.
This page is dedicated to Indiana and to the many Hoosiers who strive tirelessly to defend the Indiana land, from the glacial moraine in the north to the limestone hills in the south. They lose more often than they win, but they keep coming back, pitting their small resources against the twin juggernauts of government and business. They are exactly the kind of people who in ancient times held the pass at Thermopylae. God bless them!
Rules that protect Indiana's wetlands are constantly under attack in the General Assembly and in state agencies. Click on the link and tell Governor Daniels to protect wetlands because they're vital to the quality of our lakes, streams and drinking water. Tell him you support full regulatory protection of Indiana's remaining wetlands!
...And Save Indiana's Endangered Wildlife, Too!
Look for the eagle on your Indiana tax form!
Buy an Environmental License Plate and save habitat for wildlife!
Join the Indiana Amphibian Monitoring Program!
He really existed. Massachusetts native John Chapman (1774-1845), better known as "Johnny Appleseed," spent nearly 50 years roaming Ohio and Indiana, planting apple trees and witnessing for his mystical Swedenborgian faith. He was an unlikely frontier hero: almost an American St. Francis of Assisi, but not poor. (He owned 1200 acres when he died.) His hilltop grave (click here for picture) overlooking the Memorial Coliseum parking lot in Fort Wayne used to be shady and grassy. Now it's paved over with cobblestones. Am I the only one to find a disturbing message in that?
It's a little-known fact that the founder of the modern environmental movement, John Muir (1838-1914) spent most of the years 1866 and 1867 in Indianapolis working as an industrial engineer. In his spare time he botanized in Indiana's rich hardwood forests. Recovering from a factory accident that almost cost him his eyesight, Muir abandoned engineering to devote his life to the great cause he is now remembered for.
She's probably Indiana's most celebrated environmental refugee. Famed novelist (Girl of the Limberlost, Laddie, Freckles, The Harvester, etc.) and pioneering nature photographer Gene Stratton-Porter (1863-1924) was a Wabash County native who later lived in Adams County near the Limberlost Swamp, where she took wildlife pictures and drew inspiration for her books. Sinning against both literature and the environment, the morons who ran Adams County drained the Limberlost in 1913, driving Stratton-Porter to Sylvan Lake near Rome City.
He wasn't exactly an environmentalist, but he loved nature and was one of America's funniest humorists. Will Cuppy (1884-1949), was a native of Auburn. He wrote The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody, How to Attract the Wombat, How to be a Hermit and How to Become Extinct. He left Indiana in 1905 when there was talk of amending the state constitution to outlaw irony. He once wheedled Robert Moses, the czar of New York City's parks, into letting him keep his hermit cabin at Jones Beach, although it ended up smack in the middle of a golf course. In 2003, an asteroid, 15017 Cuppy, was named in his honor.
Ross Lockridge, Jr. (1914-1948) was born in Bloomington and educated at Indiana University. His novel Raintree County, set in a fictionalized Henry County, has been hailed as "an ecological novel written before its time." Making the land itself a character in the novel, Lockridge condemned the nineteenth century's exploitation of the environment and lamented that man "destroys all the beautiful, insubstantial dreams that made him think he had a home forever on this earth."
Great Lakes Watershed - 43 Areas of Concern ... Environment Canada lists 43 contamination hotspots in the world's largest freshwater ecosystem. One of the worst? The Grand Calumet River and Indiana Harbor Ship Canal. View a profile of Indiana's contribution to an international disgrace. Also check out the profile of the Maumee River.
Hoosier Environmental Council ... Standing like Fort Apache in the midst of one of America's most militantly brown states, HEC lobbies to make Indiana safe for terrestrial life. Check out this undervisited site with links to other groups dedicated to saving Indiana from the Once-lers.
Hoosier Wetlands ... Well-organized site with facts, figures, events, legislative updates and a kids' page!
Hoosier Wetlands Newsletter ... A cooperative effort among Indiana state agencies, this online resource highlights threats to Indiana wetlands and features gorgeous pictures, too!
Howell Wetlands ... The Evansville Dep't of Parks and Recreation manages this wetland complex, which includes marsh, cypress slough and oxbow surrounded by prairie and bottomland hardwood forest.
Indiana Dep't of Environmental Management ... Sure, IDEM is only supposed to MANAGE the Hoosier environment, NOT protect it. But IDEM's site still has lots of helpful info & links. Got a beef about air or water quality? Use IDEM's own in-box to make your point.
Potawatomi Wildlife Park ... A 200-acre not-for-profit nature preserve near Tippecanoe, Indiana, with five miles of hiking trails and a dark sky preserve for astronomical viewing.
Prehistoric Indiana ... GeoBop tells you about the ancient seas that gave Indiana its limestone.
Project LEAP ... Join Freddie the Frog in the Indiana Dep't of Environmental Management's "Learning & Environmental Awareness Partnership" program. Aimed at grades 3-8, LEAP offers teacher resources and invites junior scientists to monitor acid rain, track butterflies and study milkweeds to help build a database of Indiana's environmental health.
Red-tail Conservancy ... Planning for a future where the natural beauty of east-central Indiana still exists.
Raptor Chapter ... N.E. Indiana's premier effort to save injured hawks, owls and other birds of prey.
Save the Dunes Council ... They started in 1952 to save the Lake Michigan sand dunes...and in 1966 they did it!
Teays River ... Before the Ohio and the Wabash was the Teays...and it's still there, buried by the Pleistocene glaciers, a fossil river under Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. This Ohio DNR site will help you understand just how recent our Midwestern landscape really is.
Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve ... Old-growth lowland forest in Evansville offers opportunities for nature education and wildlife rehabilitation. Frames site. A little hard to navigate.