Annual ‘Bringing Nature Home’ Program Recognizes Local Native Plant Gardeners

Shirley Heinze Land Trust recently recognized several gardeners in northwestern Indiana with “Bringing Nature Home” awards. The goal of the program is to encourage gardeners to include native plants, shrubs, and trees into their gardens and landscapes. City and suburban gardens and rural landscapes play a critical role in supporting a healthy natural ecosystem by extending the native plant habitat in which migrating birds, butterflies, and other pollinators can find food, water, and shelter. Plantings in Lake, Porter, LaPorte, and St. Joseph Counties are eligible to apply for the award. The 2020 program is now closed. For more information and photos of all of the award recipients, visit .

Since 1981, Shirley Heinze Land Trust has protected, restored and maintained northwestern Indiana’s rich and significant natural communities, including tallgrass prairie, high dune, oak savanna, boreal flatwoods, dune-and-swale, woodlands, marshes, swamps, ponds, fens, bogs, and riparian habitat. More than 2,600 acres in Lake, Porter, LaPorte, and St. Joseph Counties have been preserved for the public’s benefit. Shirley Heinze nature preserves feature significant scenic and ecological value, and most are open to the public for hiking and enjoying nature. Six of its properties have been dedicated to the people of Indiana as state nature preserves. The organization also works to educate people of all ages to appreciate the importance of land conservation, and to experience the natural wonders of this unique region. For more information visit , call (219) 242-8558, or access its Facebook page at .