The Society of Wetland Scientists recently named Beanblossom Bottoms one of only two “Wetlands of Distinction” in Indiana.
Indiana has lost about 85 percent of its wetlands over the past 200 years, most of which were drained for agriculture. Sycamore Land Trust has managed and restored the 600-acre Beanblossom Bottoms since 1995. Communications director Abby Henkel says many Hoosiers are surprised to learn Indiana has wetlands at all.
“A lot of people look at Indiana and they see forest or farm land or city,” Henkel says. “People don’t really think about all these really cool habitats that we have here.”
In addition to reducing flood risks, Beanblossom Bottoms ‒ situated in Ellettsville, about 46 miles south of Indianapolis ‒ is home to many endangered, rare and unique species, such as the Indiana bat, native orchids, bald eagles, even bobcats.
“It’s just amazing the number of species they can support,” says Henkel. “So, that’s why it’s so important to protect areas like this, because these animals don’t have anywhere else to go if we destroy their habitat.”
Indiana’s other Wetland of Distinction, Twin Swamps, is near the confluence of the Wabash and Ohio Rivers near Evansville.