Indiana’s Last Old-Growth Forest Gets Protection

SHELBYVILLE, Ind. (AP) _ Indiana's last unprotected stretch of old-growth forest is now safe from development and will open to the public in 2016 for hiking and nature walks.
 
The Indiana Bicentennial Nature Trust provided $274,000 to help the Central Indiana Land Trust buy the 60-acre Meltzer Woods in Shelby County southeast of Indianapolis.
 
That forest was designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1973 and includes trees that are more than 200 years old.
 
Central Indiana Trust executive director Cliff Chapman says Indiana has few places like Meltzer Woods, which boasts huge old trees that predate Indiana becoming a state in 1816.
 
The Herbert Simon Family Foundation contributed $60,500 toward the land purchase, the Blue River Community Foundation added $30,000 and the Indiana Heritage Trust contributed $14,000.