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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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Viewing a Moment of a Majestic Migration - Sandhill Cranes

My grandfather loved birds. He used to bird watch and enjoyed learning about them. This love of birds was passed down to my mom. It was with knowing this that our old neighbors, years ago, first took my parents to see the Sandhill Cranes at the Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area. We have since gone as a family about three times before going for the fourth time this past week. Always the week before or of Thanksgiving. Each time we are amazed by what we see. …

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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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An Amazing Public Art Walk in Rensselaer, Indiana

I’d venture to guess most people have not explored the small town of Rensselaer, Indiana just off of I-65. I was one of those people, until the Ren Art Walk. I’m a fan of exploring and of art in general, and I wanted to see what all the buzz was about and I am so happy I did. The new art installations in Rensselaer, also known as the #RenArtWlk, is more than worth the trip to the small town about 45 minutes south of Merrillville, Indiana and under two hours north of Indianapolis…

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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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Nature's Surprises - Bison Calf Born in November

“Hey, whattaya know, we got ourselves a cinnamon!” April and May are the typical calving months for our Kankakee Sand bison. So, you can imagine our utter shock and surprise when we saw a little red bison calf in the pasture this past November! The first question that comes to mind is, “How did that happen?!” Well, we know how it happened. The better question may be, “Why did that happen?”…

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Mascot Hall of Fame Opens in Whiting, Indiana

This interactive, fuzzy, and colorful experience was more than just something out of a child’s dreams. As I, a 20-something adult, walked through the Mascot Hall of FameI was in awe at the level of thought that has gone into making the building truly amazing for all ages. Not only is everything calling out to be touched, played with, read, or messed with, but it is educational and easy for younger audiences to figure out. …

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Animals and Antiques in Lowell, Indiana

Heavy rain was expected Saturday, so we got up early to get as much fun into our day as possible. After enjoying a delicious and relaxing breakfast at our hotel, we loaded up the car and headed a little bit south to Lowell, Indiana. Our first stop was Buckley Homestead. Buckley Homestead is described as a living history farm. It’s spread out over quite a few acres but is very walkable and so interesting that you cover quite a bit of ground without realizing it…

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Century of Progress Homes from the 1933 World’s Fair in Chicago

Photos from the Indiana Dunes National Park. View more on their Flickr account. If you’re looking for a hidden gem in Northwest Indiana or if you’re a history buff you may want to visit the Century of Progress Homes at the Indiana Dunes National Park. These five homes were originally built for the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair, showing off the modern architectural design of the time. The homes are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and once a year there is a ranger-led tour of the five homes…

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