From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:
A new half-mile ADA-accessible trail will help introduce visitors to Goose Pond Fish & Wildlife Area (FWA) thanks to a partnership between DNR and the Indiana Wildlife Federation (IWF), and a $10,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation, which provides more than $2 million annually in charitable gifts in Indiana.
The new trail will be in approximately the same location as the current mowed trail around Goose Pond FWA’s Visitor Center. It will have five stops educating visitors about the property and its history, pollinators and native plants, and habitats. Construction of the trail will complement the recently-developed interpretive exhibit inside the Visitor Center.
Meghann Waddle, staff specialist for DNR Fish & Wildlife, says this trail will provide recreational opportunities for all visitors of Goose Pond FWA. “We look forward to working with the Indiana Wildlife Federation and the Duke Energy Foundation to create this inclusive trail,” Waddle said. “Fish & wildlife areas can be intimidating for first-time visitors. We hope this trail helps connect people to nature.”
Goose Pond FWA is a unique natural area with two of the most imperiled habitats in the state: grasslands and wetlands. Thousands of visitors come to the property situated south of Linton each year.
The project’s goal is to meet certification for IWF’s Sustainable Trail program. Some of the requirements for this certification include promoting the conservation, enhancement, and restoration of wildlife habitat, providing the four main components needed by wildlife — such as food, water, shelter, and a place to raise young — preserving and enhancing the natural diversity of Indiana’s habitats, and creating an environmentally friendly corridor that provides access for humans without compromising the activity of wildlife. To learn more about this program, see Indianawildlife.org/habitat-programs/sustainable-trails/.
Because of successful partnerships between wildlife agencies, beneficial projects such as this can move forward. Construction for the trail is planned to start by early-spring 2021. To learn more about Goose Pond FWA, visit on.IN.gov/goosepondfwa.