Northern Indiana Citizens Helping Ecosystems Survive (NICHES) Land Trust closed on a 32-acre addition to Williams Woods in Warren County, Ind. this week, expanding the property to 118 acres.

Since acquiring Williams Woods, in the Williamsport, Ind., area, in 2018, NICHES has been working to open up the woodland canopy to give more light to the abundance of wildflowers found on the property. This year, NICHES retired 19 acres of row crop agricultural land and will be planting a native high diversity prairie with the support of the Natural Resource Conservation Service and Warren County Community Foundation, according to a NICHES press release.

“The prairie restoration is designed to have blooms throughout the growing season, with a particular emphasis on milkweeds and butterfly friendly plants to support declining monarch butterfly populations and all butterflies,” according to Gus Nyberg, NICHES executive director.

This property, much loved by the Williams Family, was a muse for Grover C. Williams inspiring him to write Pokeberry Paths, a collection of poems and stories. Visitors are invited to explore the land deeper through Grover C. Williams’ poetry found on posts along the Laura Hare Forest Prairie Border Trail. As you wander, catch a glimpse of the woodlands and fields through Grover’s eyes and see the beauty and whimsy of the place he called Glyn Dwr Farm and Border Lands.

Williams Woods is located 15 miles from Danville, and is open for free to everyone from dawn to dusk throughout the year.

The mission of NICHES Land Trust is to protect, restore and sustain Northern Indiana’s ecosystems by providing habitat for native species and offering natural places for the education, appreciation and enjoyment of current and future generations. Its properties are free and open to the public. More information, including directions to its more than 40 properties, can be found on the website, www.nicheslandtrust.org.

NICHES turned 25 this year. It was founded in 1995 by a small group of citizens concerned with conservation of natural areas. It works cooperatively with land owners, other nonprofit organizations, government agencies and other entities. It’s not funded by tax dollars; it doesn’t receive county, state or federal government financial support.

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