Keep South Shore Safe

Masks are required on public transportation, and in LaPorte Lake Counties as well as on national park and state government properties, both inside buildings and in outdoor spaces where you cannot socially distance. Most businesses still require masks and we suggest calling ahead or checking online for details regarding each business’s policy. 

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Alyssa Nyberg, Kankakee Sands Efroymson Restoration
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: Prairie Parents - Bison at Kankakee Sands

Header photo credit © Jason Whalen/Big Foot Media Just like many of us that are working from home, our bison continue to work from their home at Kankakee Sands. The bison have been busy enriching the plant diversity by eating a plethora of grasses, creating sandy depressions when they wallow in the ground, and pooping out nutrients to enrich the soil, just as they have been doing since they arrived in 2016 when they were brought to Kankakee Sands to assist us in managing our prairies. And this spring, about 25 of our 70 bison will take on an additional job… parenting…

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The Buffalo Man at Kankakee Sands

On a chilly March morning, John Hardwick pulls into the bison viewing area at Kankakee Sands. With his thermos of hot coffee handy, he’s ready to begin his day. John volunteers as a Bison Ranger at Kankakee Sands. He’s been doing this for four years, and in those four years he has inspired hundreds of visitors with information about Kankakee Sands and our bison herd. …

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Nature Notes: Green Time - No Batteries Required at Kankakee Sands

Photo: Butterfly Day at Kankakee Sands by Leigh Littiken We all know that getting out in nature is great for our health, but sometimes our busy schedules make it difficult to find the time to get our “green time”. Fear not, it’s really much easier that you might think – because green time is all around you! Getting you green time is truly as simple as standing outside and noticing the nature around you. No batteries, tools or fancy footwear required…

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Nature Notes: The Night Owl Gets the Moth at Kankakee Sands

Photo by Jeanette Jaskula There’s nature to be had for all sorts of sleeping habits. For the early risers, there is bird watching. For the late sleepers, there is mid-day butterfly watching. And for the night owls, there are moths. Now, don’t shrug your shoulders at the vastly important and diverse family of moths. In Newton County alone we have more than 900 species of moths! And they aren’t all brown – there are yellow and pink rosy maple moths, orange ornate moths, green luna moths, and black and white eight-spotted foresters.…

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Nature Notes: Dragons of the Sky at Kankakee Sands

Dragons are all the rage these days. Friends are fascinated by the beasts in Game of Thrones. My son likes the evil, fire breathing monsters that are to be fought, slain, and conquered in the game Dungeons and Dragons. As for me, I delight in the dragons of the sky that hover, glide and zoom over our Newton County wetlands, entertaining me on sunny summer’s day. …

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Nature Notes: Mammals Checklist - Bison at Kankakee Sands

Photo by Rick Katz A visit to Kankakee Sands this time of the year may afford you the majestic view of a male bull bison weighing in at 1500 pounds, or maybe a very young bison calf weighing a mere 55 pounds. Although bison rightly dominate the landscape, they’re not the only mammals at Kankakee Sands. Not by a long shot. Believe it or not, you can find 33 different mammals of varying shapes and sizes on our Kankakee Sands prairies and savannas…

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