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The Indiana Parks Alliance (IPA) is a charitable organization that supports and advocates for Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) State Parks and Nature Preserves, and the people they serve through education, promotion, fundraising and assistance for local friends groups.

We consider ourselves an organization of “doers” who advocate for and promote these public lands and the opportunities they provide. That’s why our partners are so important to us. IPA integrates their objectives into one agenda to create a unified network of action for the natural and cultural resources and facilities in our Indiana State Parks and Indiana Nature Preserves. Our partners include state parks, state-owned nature preserves, the Indiana Natural Resources Foundation, local friends groups and YOU as a member!


What We Do

• Advocacy
• Research
• Education
• Action

What You Should Know
We do not raise funds to acquire land; there are other organizations that focus their attention in that area. We do not raise funds for daily operational costs or routine maintenance for Indiana State Parks or state-owned Nature Preserves. We believe these should continue to be provided through user fees and Indiana’s State Budget process. We DO work to enhance the experiences of visitors, protect our natural and cultural resources and maintain a Hoosier legacy for generations to come.

Click to read the: IPA 2016 Annual Report


SAVE OUR ASH TREES!

The Indiana Parks Alliance is working with Indiana State Parks and Nature Preserves to protect 100+ mature, seed producing ash trees across the state to save this native species for the future.

The Emerald Ash Borer is an invasive insect that has killed tens of millions of ash trees since it first came to the U.S. in 2002. As of March 2017, EAB has been documented in all 92 counties in Indiana. Within the next ten years, 95% of all ash trees in Indiana will have been lost!

Click Here for more information AND to make your donation!

 

President’s Message

HIKING MOST POPULAR PARK ACTIVITY
By Tom Hohman

Tom @ Prophetstown SP 2

There are many things to do when visiting our state parks. Activities can range from a relaxing, old fashioned picnic, to more robust options, like biking or going for a swim at the pool or beach. Or you can take advantage of the opportunity to hook your kids on fishing. (Pun intended.)

With these options, and many more, a survey conducted by Indiana State Parks last year showed that the most popular activity among park users was hiking. Those polled were asked to list what they did while visiting a state park. 70% included hiking in their top 5, the most of any activity.

When you think about it, this should not be surprising. Hiking is a part of many activities at a park. A nice leisurely stroll can enable you to enjoy the beauty of spring wildflowers or identify the bird singing in the underbrush. A longer hike, particularly at a park like Turkey Run or Shades, can test the leg muscles and help burn off unwanted calories.

Most hikers probably never think much about the trails they use, and the maintenance needed on them. A good trail is designed to avoid damage to sensitive natural areas. Steep slopes require switchbacks and structures to move water off the trails and limit erosion. Trail designers have developed ingenious ways to solve these problems, and to keep us from damaging the trails with overuse.

Unfortunately, many trails in our state parks were never really designed. They may date back to when the park was first developed, and just placed where people or animals were already walking. That can lead to problems. These problems can sometimes be fixed with the addition of trail structures, but often a whole section of trail needs to be rerouted. This all takes time, and the things that are always in short supply, money and staff.

The next time you take a hike, look around you at the trail and think about the work needed just so you can take a leisurely stroll.


If you would like help IPA with our mission, click on the Donate button below to make an electronic contribution today!