The Central Indiana Land Trust says it has completed the first phase of a $2.9 million effort to establish White River Bluffs in Marion County as a nature preserve that includes 12.2 acres along the White River. The property features some of the oldest trees in Indianapolis, including some estimated to be between 200 and 500 years-old.
The organization says a group of residents raised $2.2 million from more than 85 donors to purchase the first 9.1 acres from Highland Golf and Country Club, which had considered selling the property for residential development. The CILTI is now working to raise the final $700,000 needed to purchase the remaining 3.1 acres by 2019.
"This is really a remarkable area and such a special place along the White River," said Cliff Chapman, executive director of the Central Indiana Land Trust. "Our donors saw the importance of keeping the land from development, and their generosity allowed us to make the purchase and ensure it will always stay intact and available for all to enjoy when it opens to the public in 2020."
The CILTI says, while it continues efforts to raise the additional funding, it will begin marking property boundaries and working to control invasive species that could threaten native plants.