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Alyssa Nyberg, Kankakee Sands Efroymson Restoration
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Alyssa Nyberg, Kankakee Sands Efroymson Restoration

Alyssa Nyberg is the Native Plant Nursery manager and outreach coordinator for The Nature Conservancy's Kankakee Sands Efroymson Restoration in Northwest Indiana, an 8,000-acre prairie restoration. She grew up in the Indianapolis area, and has been living and working in Newton County ever since she started her job with The Nature Conservancy 15 years ago. Alyssa loves living in Newton County with her husband and raising their children in this beautiful county with its small-town feel.

Nature Notes: Bison, by the Numbers, at Kankakee Sands

It’s that exciting time of the year when the bison calves are born! At the close of 2020, we had 93 bison in our in our Kankakee Sands herd. As I pen this article, twenty-one calves have already been documented in the bison pasture, which means that for the first time in the history of Kankakee Sands, we have more than 100 bison grazing on our prairies…

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Nature Notes: Chatty Little Grasshopper Sparrows at Kankakee Sands

Header photo byKathy Malone Nature isn’t always what it seems – a chatty little grasshopper sparrow taught me that. For the first ten or so years that I worked at the Kankakee Sands Nursery, I was always looking down, either at the native plants that I was planting into the soil, or at the seeds that I was harvesting for our prairie plantings. Yet all around me was a magical, buzzing symphony of insect life – bees, dragonflies, grasshoppers, mosquitoes, crickets, katydids – or so I thought…

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Nature Notes: Growing the Fancy Plants at Kankakee Sands

Trudging through the cold north winds on an early March morning, icy rains slashing my face, I make my way from the parking lot to the Kankakee Sands greenhouse. Clomp-clomp, clomp-clomp. I slide open the greenhouse door and am instantly transported to a state of bliss – the warmth, the fresh moist smell of dirt and seedlings that tickles my nose, and the gentle whir of the fan that makes the seedlings dance in the breeze. I take an enormous deep breath, and then it’s time to get to work…

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Nature Notes: One Bat, Two Bat at Kankakee Sands

This spring we were delighted to look up and find that our furry, winged, big brown bat mascot was hanging upside down again this year in the rafters of the Kankakee Sands seed processing barn. Ah! Some normalcy in these craziest of times! The big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus) is much as its name describes – big (for a bat) = five inches in length with a wingspan of 13 inches and brown fur all over, except for its black furless face, ears, tail and wings…

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