WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — On April 3, 2021, NICHES Land Trust opened Herb and Dortha Parker’s Hickory Grove Farm to the public. Located at 833 N 400 W in West Lafayette, Indiana, this new 22-acre preserve with trails and a pond is a great place to get out and enjoy the natural world.
Donated in late 2020, NICHES’ 25th Anniversary year, this was the 25th property donated to the organization. Many of these properties were owned by the same family for generations and carry the name of those who so generously donated them to NICHES for permanent protection. These 25 properties represent 870 acres of NICHES Land Trust’s over 3,600 total protected acres.
Herb and Dortha Parker’s Hickory Grove Farm was donated by Rick and Steve Parker, two of three brothers that Herb and Dortha raised here. Their younger brother, Dan Parker, gave to NICHES’ stewardship endowment to ensure the care of this property in perpetuity. During the opening dedication, the brothers, surrounded by family and guests, shared stories of their time growing up here and how much they appreciate knowing this place, which holds so many happy family memories, will be enjoyed by others for generations to come. “My parents poured heart and soul into their ‘farm’ for over 40 years. They would be proud to know the woods, fields, pond and streams will now be shared with the community they loved.” expressed Rick Parker.
A lot of work has gone into getting this property ready for the public including monthly workdays to remove invasive honeysuckle from the woodland understory, trail work, tree planting, and the installation of a parking area funded by a grant through the Community Foundation of Greater Lafayette. Gus Nyberg, Executive Director of NICHES Land Trust, shared, “We are excited to be opening Herb and Dortha Parker’s Hickory Grove Farm to individuals and families to take a hike, sit by the pond, hug a tree, smell wildflowers and observe wildlife and recharge their battery in the natural world. We anticipate that this property’s proximity to West Lafayette and its rejuvenating natural lands will make this a popular location for people to reconnect with the natural world.”
To find more information about this and other NICHES Land Trust properties, visit their website at www.NICHESLandTrust.org.
The mission of NICHES Land Trust is to protect, restore and sustain Northern Indiana’s ecosystems by providing habitat for native species and offering natural places for the education, appreciation and enjoyment of current and future generations. Our properties are free and open to the public. www.nicheslandtrust.org