From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:
Somewhere between Toad Hop, Indiana, the Wabash River, and West Terre Haute is a trail at Wabashiki Fish & Wildlife Area (FWA) offering users an opportunity to slow down and watch for recurring patterns in nature, such as flowers opening and birds migrating.
The study of these patterns is called phenology, which is why a portion of the trail is now known as the Wabashiki FWA Phenology Trail. Observing patterns in nature is a wonderful activity for all ages.
“The fascination children have with nature’s small details is a great reminder of the joy one can experience in nature,” said Elizabeth Middleton, stewardship outreach specialist for DNR. “This new trail is an invitation for Hoosiers to observe how the property’s plants and wildlife change across the seasons.”
The trail can be accessed from the Dewey Point trailhead. Anyone can make observations along the trail, and trained volunteers will regularly monitor and report changes in plants and wildlife along the trail for scientists to study. Phenology data from the trail will help scientists gain a better understanding of how Indiana’s wildlife is affected by long-term seasonal changes. Data can also help DNR make better-informed decisions about property management.
The trail was developed as part of a new partnership with Indiana Phenology and adds a new dimension to the existing partnership between Vigo County Parks & Recreation and the Division of Fish & Wildlife.
“We are excited to partner with DNR and Vigo County Parks & Recreation to offer people of all ages another way to enjoy Wabashiki FWA,” said Amanda Wanlass, executive director at Indiana Phenology. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for community stewardship.”
To learn more, visit IndianaPhenology.org/WabashikiFWA. To volunteer to monitor the trail, email email@example.com.