If you would like to subscribe to the Brown County Hills Project Office newsletter, Understory, please contact us at (812) 988-0246.
Several years ago, when the project began and the conservation plans were developed, research and education was identified as an important component of the work in the Brown County Hills. Often times research involves talking and collaborating with local and regional experts, conducting Geographical Information System (GIS) analysis or physical studies and surveys. Education, too, is critical within this landscape level project area. With so many private landowners helping protect this forested treasure, we need to make sure they have up to date and accurate land management information.
Kirtland’s snake is a state endangered species that occurs in this area and across Indiana. We are actively working to facilitate research on this secretive species. There are ongoing surveys on our properties where this species may reside to verify their presence or absence. We are also reviewing certain environmental factors, such as soil and hydrology, to determine if correlations exist with populations of Kirtland’s snake. This will help us identify potential habitat and help focus our conservation efforts in priority areas.
Every fall, the Conservancy sponsors Nature Daze with several other partners. Nature Daze is a field day for landowners to help take the confusion out of managing and caring for land. Often times, people are unsure of how to get started with newly acquired land or even where to look for management assistance. The goal of Nature Daze is to provide landowners with hands on, practical examples of good forest management and conservation.
The Brown County Hills Project has also developed an education CD in cooperation with local schools. “Hills & Hollows: Ecology in the Brown County Hills” is a fun, interactive CD with a variety of games, videos, and text to help teach children and adults all about the plants and animals of the area’s forests. Many of the games meet state educational standards for grades six through eight, and include accompanying worksheets. Contact the Brown County Hills office if you'd like a copy.