INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A group on the northeast side wants to preserve 25 acres of natural habitat and to do so, they have to raise more than half a million dollars.
If you drive past 82nd Street and Sargent Road, you’ll noticed a new, large sign on the corner of the intersection.
It reads: You can help preserve this property.
“Our mission is to preserve the natural habitat in this area that’s really critical,” said Ben Miller, the President of Mud Creek Conservancy.
It’s a mission Miller takes personally and is passionate about making it become a reality.
“My day job is actually as a biologist working on natural areas, preservation across our state,” said Miller.
His group, Mud Creek Conservancy, has launched their campaign to preserve 25 acres of natural habitat known as Mud Creek Valley, a campaign to fund their first land purchase and first public conservation area.
The Mud Creek Valley is one of Indianapolis' largest remaining and connected natural habitats, anchored by Ft. Harrison State Park and the Fall Creek Greenway, according to Miller.
“This is probably just five acres that you can see here,” explained Miller as he showed us the property, “With 25 acres, we’ve got wetlands and young forests back there, mature forests with trees bigger than you can wrap your arms around.”
The impressive plant and animal diversity present is a reflection of the natural habitats on which they rely. Protecting their habitat will keep Indy wild for future generations. - MudCreekConservancy.org
The group has two years to call the community into action, with a goal of raising $650,000 that is already seeing support from neighbors.
Although the main priority is to preserve the habitat, the group plans to create the Sargent Road Nature Park.
Sargent Road Nature Park will provide access to low-impact loop trails for outdoor recreation like walking, jogging and bird-watching and maintain the unique natural character of the Mud Creek Valley. - MudCreekConservancy.org
“For an urban area, it’s really rare to have all of those diverse habitats in one small space,” said Miller.
It’s a habitat that Miller and neighbors say Marion County can’t afford to lose.
“I grew up here actually. You come here to be with the trees and nature, deer go through our front yard every day,” said John Lindstaedt.
Lindstaedt lives across the street and has for years. He’s watched the expansion of 82nd Street and nearby development, hoping it wouldn’t touch the Mud Creek Valley.
“A lot of the changes have been because what’s changing around us, because of the growth in Fishers and the growth at Geist Lake,” Lindstaedt added, “It’s to preserve what is so special. This is in Marion County, 20 minutes from downtown Indianapolis.”
Miller says the valley is under a great threat, unless something is done about it.
“I think it’s really important to preserve what we have left of green space in Indianapolis,” said Miller.
Mud Creek Conservancy is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization that's celebrating their 25th anniversary. To learn more about the Mud Creek Conservancy project, click here.