The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has expanded two properties. The Bicentennial Nature Trust helped fund additions to wildlife and bird habitats in Jefferson and Benton counties.

January 9, 2014

News Release

Indianapolis, Ind. — Funding assistance from the Bicentennial Nature Trust has helped the Department of Natural Resources expand Splinter Ridge Fish & Wildlife Area in Jefferson County and a Game Bird Habitat Area in Benton County.

The 77-acre addition to Splinter Ridge features upland forest covering several steep hills and is about 2 miles from the Ohio River near Brooksburg.

The 40-acre Game Bird Habitat addition is ideal upland bird habitat and features warm season grass plantings and 5 acres of wetland. The property is about 3 miles south of Fowler.

“Both properties are favorite destinations for hunters,” said DNR Director Cameron Clark. “We're excited about this expansion and thankful for the partners who helped make it a reality.”

The DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife Game Bird Habitat Restoration Fund, the National Wild Turkey Federation and Quail Forever contributed to the purchase of the Splinter Ridge expansion. The Jefferson County Commissioners and the Community Foundation of Madison & Jefferson County endorsed the project.

The Game Bird Habitat Restoration Fund and the National Wild Turkey Federation also contributed to the purchase of the Game Bird Habitat Area expansion, as did Pheasants Forever. The Benton County Community Foundation endorsed the purchase.

The Splinter Ridge addition is the third Bicentennial Nature Trust (BNT) project in Jefferson County. BNT previously assisted with the purchase of a 10-acre addition to Clifty Falls State Park, and a 5-acre expansion of the Heritage Trail Conservancy Park on Madison’s riverfront.

The BNT is a project of the Bicentennial Commission, co-chaired by former Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman and former U.S. Representative Lee Hamilton. The statewide program is aimed at expanding trails, conservation areas and recreation sites to help celebrate Indiana’s 200 years of statehood in 2016. The state park system was created during Indiana’s centennial celebration in 1916, and BNT projects will provide a similar legacy for generations of Hoosiers.

“The 2016 Bicentennial Commission is committed to expanding access to natural areas and recreation opportunities in Indiana,” Skillman and Hamilton said. “These acquisitions are a great example of that commitment, and we look forward to celebrating many more success stories for the Bicentennial Nature Trust in the months and years to come.”

An initial $20 million in state funding was obligated for BNT projects, and the Lilly Endowment donated another $10 million to the effort. Money from the fund is matched no less than $1:1 with the local community or group sponsor. To date, the Bicentennial Commission has approved 71 projects, and 28 have been completed for a total of 4,123 acres.

The BNT is seeking additional private donations of land and money as well as input from communities on viable projects. Applications for the Nature Trust can be found at

For more information on the Bicentennial Commission, visit

Source: Indiana Department of Natural Resources

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