Places We Protect

Holley Savanna


Great spangled fritillary on butterfly weed at Holley Savanna.
Holley Savanna Great spangled fritillary on butterfly weed at Holley Savanna. © The Nature Conservancy

One of Indiana’s special little places, this preserve is found off the beaten path.



Why You Should Visit

Holley Savanna in Newton County is not spectacular, huge or especially awe-inspiring. What it is, though, is far more important. This small preserve provides a corridor for a diverse selection of plants and animals, some that are endangered or threatened. There are several different types of habitat found within and surrounding the savanna, including an oak woodland/former savanna mix, wet areas dominated by silver maple and pink oaks and an upland woods section covered with white oaks and a noteworthy population of hazelnuts in the understory.

The most unique feature that many would overlook is the existence of vernal, or ephemeral, pools. Vernal pools are depressions in the terrain that seasonally fill up with water and then usually dry down during the hotter summer months. Although they do not support populations of fish and other animals requiring a constant water environment, they do provide a temporary habitat to intriguing creatures such as the freshwater fairy shrimp.

What The Nature Conservancy Is Doing/Has Done

Though Niches Land Trust owns and manages the property, The Nature Conservancy works with them in savanna restoration at the savanna. Periodic prescribed burns also take place at the preserve.



No trail exists at the preserve at this time, but the terrain is easy to explore.


79 acres

Explore our work in this region

What to See: Plants and Animals

A diverse selection of plants and animals, some which are endangered or threatened, make their home at the Holley. In the seasonal vernal pools, the freshwater fairy shrimp lives his whole life, while the tiger salamander makes it their breeding ground along with the chorus frogs, spring peepers and leopard and gray tree frogs. If you're lucky, you may spot the slender grass lizard—a special concern species in Indiana—or the Primrose-leaved violet, a state threatened plant.

No trail exists at the preserve at this time but the easy terrain should not be hard to manage.