As many of us find ourselves Indiana-bound due to high gas prices, it’s good to know that Indiana offers many natural areas worthy of exploration. One such place is Ritchey Woods, located in Hamilton County. Ritchey Woods is 127 acres of protected, preserved, and restored natural land in one of America’s fastest-growing communities.
Ritchey Woods was a pasture until the 1930s, where its evolution began. The forested wetland on its southern end was re-established in the 1950s and the large field on its easternmost boundary began a transition to a mosaic of varying wetland habitats in 1997. The preserve’s northeastern edge has been transformed into a field planted in native prairie plants.
Ritchey Woods would have long ago been swallowed up by development were it not for the passion and foresight of Dr. James Oscar Ritchey who in order to see his land forever protected, willed the property to The Nature Conservancy.
In 1982 the Conservancy transferred Ritchey Woods to The Children’s Museum, who managed the site until 2004, when the Town of Fishers became the new owner.
Through the years and several owners, the mission of Ritchey Woods Nature Preserve has remained the same: to benefit current and future generations by providing an opportunity to explore the natural world, to heighten awareness for the environment, and to instill a sense of stewardship for all living things.
Guided hikes and hands-on programs are available for children, families, scout groups and school field trips.
For more information head to the Ritchey Woods preserve page.December 06, 2011