Franciscan Health Michigan City is hosting a free nature walk led by Shirley Heinze Land Trust at noon Friday, Feb. 17 at the St. Francis Nature Preserve.
The 30-minute walk will begin at the start of the trail in the west employee parking lot at Franciscan Health Michigan City, 3500 Franciscan Way in Michigan City.
The St. Francis Nature Preserve contains a boardwalk spanning more than a quarter of a mile through the forested wetlands on the west side of Franciscan Health Michigan City. The healing habitat is a collaboration between the hospital and Shirley Heinze Land Trust, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization headquartered in Valparaiso that aims to preserve and restore natural lands and waters in Northwest Indiana and to engage people in nature and conservation.
The St. Francis Nature Trail was officially dedicated in May 2022. The trail offers a self-guided tour with informational signage funded by the Franciscan Health Michigan City Medical Staff and benches provided by donations made through the Franciscan Health Foundation. The trail is open to the public.
The preserve is named for St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecologists due to his profound love for animals and nature. The selfless acts of St. Francis of Assisi – a man who left behind all his worldly possessions to follow Christ's mission and care for those in need – set forth the guiding values under which Franciscan Health began and continues to this day.
For more information about the nature walk, contact Sister M. Petra Nielsen, OSF, vice president mission integration at Franciscan Health Michigan City at (219) 877-1447.