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Indiana

Conrad Station Savanna

Remnant foundations from the abandoned town of Conrad can be found at this black oak sand savanna.


Why You Should Visit

Conrad Station Savanna is a large, high-quality black oak sand savanna in Newton County.  Conrad Station is east of U.S. 41 and is owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy. Conrad Savanna, another black oak sand savanna, is west of U.S. 41 and is owned and managed by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources' Division of Nature Preserves. Oak savanna is the predominant plant community on these dry sands, with black and white oaks being the most common trees. Remnant foundations from the abandoned town of Conrad, including a blacksmith shop, church, and school, still exist on the preserve. Conrad Station Savanna has an amazing history.

Location

Newton County

Size

809 Acres (Conrad Station Savanna and Conrad Savanna)

Dedicated

State Nature Preserve, 1992 and 2013

Owned & Managed By

The Nature Conservancy, Indiana DNR's Division of Nature Preserves

Partners

Cedar Lake Fish & Game Club, Indiana Heritage Trust, National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, Waterfowl USA, Wild Turkey Federation and North America Wetlands Conservation Act 

What The Nature Conservancy has Done/is Doing

For the past several years, volunteer stewardship workdays have focused on restoring the savanna, both by the physical removal of woody plant species and the re-introduction of prescribed fires to maintain this community. The Conservancy's goals also include working with the Department of Nature Preserves to simulate pre-settlement conditions in the restoration of the areas south of the preserve and to establish the site as a premier Black Oak Barrens preserve.

We've been doing the work, now it's time to monitor our restoration progress at Conrad Station.

 

What to See: Plants and Animals

Conrad Station Preserve contains broad flat areas alternating with rolling sand dunes. Although the dunes were opened and sculpted by the wind after the last glaciation, today they are covered by trees, grasses, and sedges.

Typical sand savanna plants that dominate the scene here include Junegrass, Pennsylvania sedge, porcupine grass, little bluestem, Indian grass and big bluestem. Other more showy savanna plants include hairy puccoon, cleft phlox, New Jersey tea and sand milkweed. Prickly pear cactus thrives on a few small open rises. Red-head woodpeckers, turkey and quail are often spotted on the preserve. Glass lizards are common, but rarely observes as they spend most of their lives underground. 

A 1.8 mile loop trail complete with interpretive signs can be found at this preserve. our ongoing restoration of the site is evident on this hike; note the efforts to thin out the canopy with fire and the dramatic response of wildflowers in these open spaces. Please consult the Conservancy’s Preserves Visitation Guidelines for visitation information.

For More Information

Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Nature Preserves

Directions

From I-65 take S.R. 114 west to U.S. 41. Take U.S. 41 north approximately 11 miles until you reach County Rd. 725N. Turn right (east) and proceed for 0.5 mile. Park in the lot.
From Lake Village, travel south on U.S. 41 for 2 miles to C.R. 700 N and turn left (east). Continue driving until a sharp right hand turn and then continue to the parking lot straight ahead.

Discussion

Have you been to this preserve? Are you thinking of visiting? See what others are saying about their experiences and add your comments below.

Add Your Comments

Time for you to join the discussion. Tell us about your experience at this preserve. What plants and animals did you see? When did you go? You can help others plan their visit when you share your thoughts. And thank you for visiting one of our nature preserves!

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