We had a great turnout for our first nature walk of the season with more than 30 people coming out to wade through black swamp muck and vernal pools to explore the early signs of spring at Bell Woods.
Carpets of trillium lined our path through the woods, and we were treated to a myriad of ephemeral blooms along the way. And, the herons put on a great show, winging to and from their nests in care of their chicks.
The Conservancy has been protecting Bell Woods through a conservation agreement since 2013, but only recently did we come to own this property – one of the few true remnants of the historic swamp left today.
The wetlands at Bell Woods are classified as Category 3, meaning that they are of the highest biological integrity. More than a dozen rare species are known to inhabit the property, and an inventory of the Vegetation Index of Biotic Integrity was conducted in 2021 and identified an astonishing 73 unique species per 1,000 square meter plots.
Access to Bell Woods will continue to be limited to scheduled programming to reduce stress on the property’s sensitive habitats, but future plans may include a boardwalk to allow more access while minimizing footwear on the soil and protecting the rarest areas.
At the end of May, we hosted our first native bee program at the neighboring Pat & Clint Mauk’s Prairie property. Adelle Rodriguez of Stony Ridge Apiaries shared fun and fascinating native bee facts and stories. Participants made native bee houses to take home and encourage pollinators in their own yards.
We lead several nature walks and other outdoor events throughout the year that are suitable for guests of all ages. Check out our upcoming events and stay connected with us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to find out when and where our next walk will take place.