Why You Should Visit
Big Walnut Preserve in Putnam County is a dazzling scenic area situated among the rolling hills and steep ravines of Big Walnut Creek Valley. Since being dedicated as a National Natural Landmark in 1985, the preserve has been co-managed by the Conservancy and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Nature Preserves (DNP). This successful partnership has protected more than 2,400 acres and has ensured the long-term viability of this biologically important natural area.
What The Nature Conservancy is Doing/has Done
Through constructive partnering, the Conservancy and DNP have produced effective management and reforestation efforts in Big Walnut Preserve. Over the past several years, the effort to preserve several thousand contiguous acres of protected interior forests has been accomplished by planting thousands of tree seedlings in old fields and pastures. Both the Conservancy and DNP staff, along with scores of volunteers, have planted more than 125,000 red oak, shellbark hickory, and black walnut seedlings throughout 180 acres of Big Walnut Preserve. In addition, recent land acquisitions have helped to protect local plants, animals, and natural communities, which in turn help to maintain the water quality of Big Walnut Creek.
With DNP managing most of the southern portion and the Conservancy working primarily in the north, both organizations have proved that they can successfully collaborate to manage the site and maximize the integrity of the entire preserve.
This work is done in partnership with the Indiana Heritage Trust, Land, and Water Conservation Fund, Indiana Department of Transportation and Central Indiana Land Trust, Inc.