I attended the Indiana Master Naturalist (IMN) Gathering at McCormick’s Creek State Park on April 8.9. and 10 th . The activities started with a tour of the Blue Caverns near Bedford. It was a great trip underground riding in boats. We then walked to and from a sink hole that was tied into the same underground cave system. Both studies were great teaching moments.
The evening program at the state park was about the Start of the Indiana State Park System Storyteller Bob Sander presented his new program on Col. Richard Lieber and his efforts in starting the Indiana State Park System. This is the Centennial Year of the Indiana State Parks.
[Thanks to a grant from the Indiana Humanities this program will be presented at Limberlost State Historic Site on July 9, 2:00 pm].
Saturday was started with a bird walk followed by classes related from frogs to salamanders. There were other classes covering many areas in nature. There were around 110 IMN members in attendance.
Several groups were formed. Twenty-three of us walked to Wolf Cave in the park. Most of us crawled through a small hole in the Wolf Cave and traveled about 70 feet to another opening. We then walked back to the next class which was on snakes.
The Saturday evening program on “There is More to Milkweed than Monarchs” by Jody Heaston, the DNR Volunteer Coordinator. She provided at least three types of milkweed seed samples for each attendee.
The Sunday program was a visit to Cataract Falls, both high and low. These falls are the largest in Indiana. There is the Cataract Covered Bridge located near the high falls. I spoke about details about details of the Cataract Covered Bridge to each of the four groups.
All four groups visited the Ponderosa Aqua Farm.
That ended the IMN Gathering and the post trip!
Ellsworth Smith is an Advanced Indiana Master Naturalist. He is serving his second term on the Friends of the Limberlost board. He volunteers for state historic sites, the state parks, ACRES Land Trust and other places round the state.
Friends of the Limberlost Secretary Melissa Fey also attended the IMN Gathering.
Limberlost State Historic Site has been asked to host the 2017 Indiana Master Naturalist Gathering with Ouabache State Park. We are pleased to be asked and look forward to hosting this group.