Shirley Heinze Land Trust announces the launch of the public phase of its first-ever Capital Campaign, themed "Take a Walk with Shirley." The organization has a goal to raise $3.5 million to advance its mission of protecting important habitats and ecosystems across Northwest Indiana. Funds raised will be used to protect an additional 500 acres of environmentally significant land in the region. They will also support efforts to restore and maintain the 1,600 acres the organization already manages, and will promote conservation awareness through educational programs and increased access to natural areas.
"Over the past two years we have quietly been accepting donations and pledges from our longtime supporters, conservation partners, foundations, and landowners. We are proud to announce that this effort has netted nearly $2.75 million, about seventy-eight percent of our objective," says President Margaret Williford. "We are now expanding the outreach to include everyone who lives, works, and plays in Northwest Indiana; all those who appreciate the natural wonders of our area and support the work Shirley Heinze Land Trust does to protect them."
Kristopher Krouse, Executive Director, adds: "This year Shirley Heinze Land Trust is asking everyone in Northwest Indiana to get outside and take a walk with Shirley Heinze Land Trust. Come join us for public hikes at Ambler Flatwoods and Barker Woods in LaPorte County on Saturday, May 30; at Seidner Dune and Swale in Lake County on Saturday, June 6; and at Meadowbrook Nature Preserve in Porter County on Sunday, June 14." Other hikes and events, including speaking presentations and informal social gatherings, are being planned throughout the region. For more information and a calendar of campaign events, visit the website at www.heinzetrust.org/campaign.
Support for the campaign has come from many voices throughout the region. "We are proud to give our support to Shirley Heinze Land Trust, one of the leading voices for land conservation in the Midwest," says Kelly Carmichael, Director of Environmental Policy, Northern Indiana Public Service Company. John Swanson, former Executive Director of the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission, adds: "Northwest Indiana needs a strong Shirley Heinze Land Trust to safeguard its natural treasures."
"We have taken on this campaign project to preserve more of the highest quality natural areas in this region, and further advance our mission of stewarding these lands and educating the public," says Campaign Co-chair Nancy Johnson. "The benefits to our region include increased green space, expanded recreational opportunities, cleaner air and water, floodwater relief, habitat for native plants and wildlife, and outdoor educational programs for students of all ages."
For more information on the work and programs of Shirley Heinze Land Trust, call (219) 242-8558, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or access its website at www.heinzetrust.org or its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/heinzetrust.