ACRES Land Trust recently completed the acquisition of 193 acres of Cedar Creek land, bringing its total in the Cedar Creek corridor in Allen and DeKalb counties to more than 1,000 acres.
The land was appraised at $3 million and acquired with the help of matching funds from Indiana’s Bicentennial Nature Trust.
The new land, which covered four properties, is primarily farm land adjacent to existing preserves. ACRES will continue to farm the land for a few years, using the income to protect and manage its holdings. The nonprofit eventually will restore the properties by planting native hardwood trees and shrubs, thus expanding the forested corridor.
Cedar Creek is one of only three rivers in Indiana designated under the Indiana Natural, Scenic, and Recreational Rivers Act, a designation ACRES Land Trust helped the waterway earn in 1976. ACRES began acquiring Cedar Creek land for permanent protection in 1984. Today, the nonprofit protects 32 properties, including additions to 17 total preserves within the 20-mile stretch of the creek from Auburn to its terminus into the St. Joseph River in Leo-Cedarville.
The corridor is home to vegetation unique in this area such as the yellow lady’s-slipper orchid, gray beardtongue, tall meadow rue; and Allen County’s only documented populations of painted cup (Indian paintbrush) and yellow puccoon.
Cedar Creek’s wildlife includes bobcats, mink and river otters, as well as pileated woodpeckers, bald eagles, great blue herons, green herons and yellow-crowned night herons.
All told, ACRES now protects more than 7,000 acres of land in northeast Indiana, northwest Ohio and southern Michigan.