TNC’s Mayme Glade has rare species
The Nature Conservancy’s mission is to preserve the plants, animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive.
Without community-minded people, it would be nearly impossible for The Nature Conservancy to conduct its work.
The Blue River Project Office of TNC was the recent beneficiary of a 70-acre property in southeastern Harrison County. A dedication ceremony was held Saturday morning to honor both Julia Martin and the late Brent Martin, who donated the land, which will forever be known as the Mayme Hinton Glade Nature Preserve.
Included among the dry-mesic forest landscape is a natural limestone glade.
Glades are natural forest openings where bedrock is at or near the surface, and are typically found on sunny, exposed south- or west-facing slopes. Considered ecologically significant, glades are ranked as globally rare biological communities.
Mayme Hinton Glade provides habitat for orange coneflower (state rare), angle pod (state rare), crested coralroot (a parasitic orchid ‘ state rare), devil’s bit (a native lily ‘ state endangered) and the cob web skipper (a rare butterfly species). The land includes deer, turkey, all sorts of birds and, as Brent Martin put it, ‘is like being in heaven on Earth.’
More than a dozen folks, including John Bacone of the Indiana Division of Nature Preserves, made the long, sometimes-muddy hike from Martin’s quaint, secluded home to the limestone glade where the presentation was made.
According to Bacone, the Hinton preserve is the 219th preserve dedicated in the state of Indiana.
‘It’s The Nature Conservancy’s goal to find special places that are still unique, and sometimes these types of special places are right under our noses,’ said Allen Pursell of The Nature Conservancy. ‘The plants here are special. The glade is special. And it’s our goal to find these places and set them aside for future generations. Usually we have to purchase these types of tracts, so it means a lot to us in regards to what Julia has done. It’s a rare family that would donate this type of land.’
Pursell also announced that The Nature Conservancy closed on a 10-acre tract adjacent to the Hinton preserve last week. That piece of property includes St. Peter’s Lake Glade.
The Mayme Hinton Preserve was named for the late aunt of Brent Martin, whom Julia described as, ‘an ol’ crusty, independent woman. A real gem.’
Martin, who is a physics, chemistry and Earth science teacher at South Central Junior-Senior High School, said she and her late husband wanted to make sure their estate was taken care of before anything unknown took place.
‘We called the state and they came out and looked at the property, and now it will be protected forever,’ Martin said. ‘It’s nice to know that with eminent domain there will be some pretty large hoops to jump through if someone ever wants to do anything to the property.
‘Brent and I never felt like we ‘owned’ the land,’ she said. ‘Land shouldn’t belong to anyone. It’s there for everyone to enjoy.’
The Nature Conservancy has been in existence since 1951 and has projects in all 50 states and 27 countries. The Nature Conservancy has protected more than 117 million acres of land and 5,000 miles of river around the world. It has one million members and supporters, more than 1,500 volunteers and 3,200 employees, 720 of whom are scientists. TNC has about 14,000 Hoosier members.