The month started with transition as the new Executive Director, Erin Baird, got started in the role and previous ED, Barbara Simpson, moved to a part-time position as Conservation Policy Director.
On April 14th, we celebrated a huge victory for wildlife as the canned hunting bill, HB 1453 was defeated in the Indiana Senate by a vote of 27-23. Thank you all for the calls, emails, letters, and face to face meetings with your Senator. The grassroots hunters and other conservationists made their voices heard! The canned hunting issue is still in the courts – headed to the Indiana Supreme court next. We’ll be following that closely and will keep you up to date.
On April 15th, IWF attended Indiana State University’s Earth Day celebration and awarded President Bradley and the University with certification as a Gold Level Conservation Champion through our Landscaping the Sustainable Campus program. The LSC program was designed to encourage colleges and universities to evaluate their current landscaping practices and implement practices that will better manage surface water runoff, reduce excess nutrient pollution, and add quality habitat space for wildlife. ISU’s Sustainable Landscape Plan highlights wonderful practices being used on campus, such as the installation of rain gardens and bioswales, the drastic reduction in overall chemical usage, the use of pervious pavement, incorporating education about sustainable landscape practices into course curriculum, the installation of beautiful native landscapes as showcased in front of the Welcome Center, and a variety of other practices and projects that are improving the campus ecosystem for both wildlife and people. Way to go and congratulations ISU!
On Earth Day, April 22nd, IWF officially recognized Butler University for their December 2014 certification through the Landscaping the Sustainable Campus Program. Butler also achieved Gold Level certification and they were the second university in the state to become certified. There are many exciting things happening on the Butler Campus, including the established Butler University Prairie, multiple new rain gardens which feature native plantings and help manage stormwater runoff, the use of pervious pavement options in parking lots and walkways, smart sprinkler systems, and a green roof. Other exciting BU initiatives include the Center for Urban Ecology (CUE) farm, the inventive single-stream recycling program, and their newest project, their Sunset Avenue Streetscape project(currently being installed) which will include a pervious pavement bike lane. Great work and congratulations to Butler!
On April 23rd, IWF attended an Earth Week Tree Planting event at Purdue University where we presented the university with the 2015 IWF Conservation Education Award. The award is given for outstanding efforts to educate the public and youth about conservation and natural resources. Purdue has shown exceptional success in their education and outreach on campus, online, and through their ongoing sustainable landscape projects. Purdue University is an excellent example of a university that is not only implementing more sustainable conservation practices on campus, but also educating, engaging and sharing knowledge about their experiences with those practices.
Our last big event of April was the Earth Day Indiana Festival at White River State Park on April 25th. Even though the weather decided to give us a rain or rain forecast for the event, we had a big success with our bird feeder building activity. We built 92 bird feeders and talked to many dedicated conservationists that attended the Festival. We can’t wait for our next bird feeder building event in September at the Hoosier Outdoor Experience!
Hope you all enjoyed the month of April too!