Huntertown-based ACRES Land Trust is planning to locate a nature preserve in DeKalb County. The organization says it intends to acquire a 93-acre property near Auburn. It will be the Allen County group's first nature preserve in DeKalb County. May 28, 2014

News ReleaseEditor's Note – This release was originally posted on the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette website

Huntertown, IN, May 23, 2014 – ACRES Land Trust is pleased to announce plans to acquire a new nature preserve in DeKalb County, the James Covell farm, previously the Glen T. Rieke family homestead. This 93-acre property located just south of Auburn will be the first nature preserve in DeKalb County that will be open to the public. The current owner, Dr. Jack Covell, says “My brother Jim had a vision for this land. He was an environmentalist and wanted to see the land preserved for the animals that live there, and for people to enjoy it in its natural state.” The James P. Covell Nature Preserve will protect a portion of Cedar Creek, one of only three designated scenic rivers in Indiana, and includes wetlands, agricultural land, and forest.

Jason Kissel, ACRES Executive Director states, “We are excited about preserving additional land in DeKalb County, and will soon be able to provide what the Auburn community has been requesting for years – a nature preserve close to home. In addition, we are pleased to help the County achieve its Comprehensive Plan goal of improving the water quality of Cedar Creek.”

Because of this property’s statewide significance, the Bicentennial Nature Trust and Indiana Heritage Trust provided a portion of the funding needed to acquire this land. Dr. Jack and Joyce Covell provided a generous donation, and ACRES is now starting a campaign to raise the remaining funds needed to acquire the property. Once fundraising is complete, work will begin to install a trail system, parking lot, and the preserve will be opened to the public for all to enjoy.

Founded in 1960, ACRES Land Trust is dedicated to preserving significant natural areas in northeast Indiana, northwest Ohio and southern Michigan. ACRES offers these natural areas for free public uses such as hiking, environmental education, scientific and cultural study, events, and general enjoyment.

ACRES is a membership-based organization supported by people who value nature and like to see it protected. Supporters have enabled ACRES to acquire over 5,400 acres within 89 nature preserves.

For more information, please contact ACRES Land Trust at 260-637-2273 or visit their website at ACRES Land Trust

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