The Nature Conservancy - Blue River Project Fund


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Clicking "Donate Now" will allow you to make a gift online to this fund through the Harrison County Community Foundation. If you would like to provide your gift by check instead of by debit or credit card, please send your gift to our office at P. O. Box 279, Corydon, Indiana 47112. Additionally, gifts of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, agricultural products, real estate, insurance, and estate plans are also accepted. Please contact us at 812-738-6668 for more information.

Fund Purpose
Supports The Nature Conservancy’s efforts to conserve the beautiful Blue River.

Fund Story
The Nature Conservancy’s mission is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends.  The Nature Conservancy Fund was established in 2000 to support the work of the Blue River Project. Since then, the Conservancy has used innovation and community support to protect the natural features that make Harrison County a special place to call home.

The Blue River project area encompasses 720 square miles and contains 375,000 acres of rugged hardwood forest and rural terrain. Known for its natural beauty, three features make the Blue River area ecologically significant: (1) a high quality, spring-fed river; (2) several habitat types (including forests, glades, and barrens) that support globally rare and endangered species; and (3) a system of caves, sinkholes, and underground rivers that lies beneath the area, supporting many rare animals.

Conservation work in this area has focused on protecting habitat for endangered species, such as the Indiana bat and hellbender salamander, and improving the quality of water flowing through the area.  Clean water is critical because it feeds the caves that support life underground before bubbling and gushing to the surface at springs along the river where the clean water supports fish and mussels, like the bluebreast darter and wavy-rayed lampmussel.  The extensive cave system that feeds Blue River harbors cave animals that do not exist anywhere else in the world.

The Nature Conservancy uses a variety of techniques to achieve meaningful conservation results in Harrison County.  The Blue River Project was one of the first areas in the nation where the Conservancy implemented its innovative Forest Bank program, which protects forests as habitat while allowing landowners an opportunity to realize an economic return on their land. The Conservancy also has purchased many key parcels of land that are particularly important habitat in Harrison County. Some landowners have worked with the Conservancy to put conservation easements on their land, a method which allows them to retain ownership while ensuring that the land will be preserved for many years to come.  The Nature Conservancy also inventories plants and animals to monitor changes in land and water use.  Finally, the Conservancy works with partners to develop strategies for cave conservation, finding innovative ways to protect these hidden treasures.
Recognizing that protecting our natural heritage is a gift that we give both to ourselves and to future generations of Harrison County residents, the Harrison County Community Foundation is proud to support The Nature Conservancy’s Blue River Project.

Focus on 83 conservation target species, including Short’s goldenrod, the shaggy cave snail, spotted darters, and the Indiana bat to name a few.
Conservation operations, such as staff time to negotiate, purchase and manage land.
Provide volunteer opportunities at nature preserves to educate and introduce citizens to Harrison County’s natural treasures.
Maintain trail system on Nature Conservancy properties.
Educate and provide hands-on experience for invasive species management.
Provide outreach and education on water conservation and stewardship.
Survey Blue River’s mussel population, most recently reporting 18 species in the river and currently supporting research on the wavy-rayed lampmussel.
Assist the Indiana DNR Wildlife Diversity Section with relocating state endangered Allegheny woodrats from Kentucky and Tennessee to Indiana’s declining woodrat populations in Harrison and Crawford counties.
Assist the Indiana Karst Conservancy in securing significant caves.
Reforested 545 acres within Blue River’s watershed, assisting 39 landowners to implement conservation on their land.
Secured 11 limestone glades in the Harrison County Glades Natural Area.
Collect water quality data on Blue River.
Commissioned a cave survey of caves in the Blue River watershed which uncovered 117 globally rare cave invertebrates.

Fund Impact: 
2001 - Contribution from agency endowment for operations.
2005 - Convert a home to office space withing the Sally Reahard Woods at Mosquito Creek nature preserve
2009 - Conservation operations of The Nature Conservancy's Blue River Project area. 
2010 - Support the conservation operations of The Nature Conservancy's Blue River Project area.
2011 - Purchase of a used vehicle for use at The Nature Conservancy's Blue River Project in Laconia, Indiana.
2012 - Support General Operating Expenses for Conservation Work
2013 - To support general operations for conservation efforts.
2014 - To support general operations for conservation efforts. 
2015 - To support general operations for conservation efforts.  

Contact Harrison County Community Foundation
1523 Foundation Way, P.O. Box 279
Corydon, Indiana 47112
Michelle Logan

 $ 100.00
Funding type:Donation

This project will receive all of the funds Donated by 4099-08-19.

Harrison County Community Foundation