KOSCIUSKO COUNTY — The Natural Resources Commission approved nature preserve status for three sites including on in Kosciusko County during its regularly scheduled meeting this morning. The move increases to 277 the number of state-designated sites protected by the Nature Preserves Act, which turns 50 years old this year.
The three new nature preserves are Pisgah Marsh in Kosciusko and Whitley counties, and two nature preserves in Harrison-Crawford State Forest—Greenbrier Knob in Harrison County, and County Line Glades in Harrison and Crawford counties.
Pisgah Marsh Nature Preserve is a 118-acre property that is part of the larger Pisgah Marsh Fish & Wildlife Area and is owned and managed by the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife. It is located within the Northern Lakes Natural Region along the intersection of Kosciusko, Whitley and Noble counties. Acquisition was through a mix of Fish & Wildlife and Nongame Wildlife funds.
This new nature preserve contains high-quality examples of fen, sedge meadow, marsh, and oak woodland natural communities. An ADA-accessible boardwalk leads visitors to Pisgah Lake. The preserve provides habitat for a number of state-endangered wildlife species, including Blanding’s turtle, spotted turtle, Virginia rail, sedge wren and least bittern.
Greenbrier Knob, owned and administrated by the DNR Division of Forestry, is composed of two separate tracts in Harrison-Crawford State Forest. This nature preserve protects mesic upland forest that borders the Blue River along with gravel-wash sites and a high-quality example of a riverine limestone ledge community that hosts several rare and endangered plant species. It is located within the Shawnee Hills Natural Region’s escarpment section.
Noteworthy plant species at Greenbrier Knob include state and federally endangered Short’s goldenrod, Appalachian bugbane, prairie redroot, sand grape, and cleft phlox. Its state-rare species include barren strawberry and wild false indigo. The watch-listed meadow spike-moss and American wild basil also can be found there. Noteworthy animal species include several mollusks along the banks of the Blue River — the state endangered clubshell and snuffbox, and the state special-concern kidneyshell and little spectaclecase. Also present is the state special-concern spotted darter.
County Line Glades, owned and administrated by the DNR Division of Forestry, is also composed of two separate tracts in Harrison-Crawford State Forest. It is located just south of Interstate 64 at the county line. This nature preserve protects limestone glades and adjoining dry upland forest with a diverse assortment of site indicator species, including Indian grass, New Jersey tea, American columbo, blackjack oak and post oak. It is located within the Shawnee Hills Natural Region, Escarpment Section.
Noteworthy plant species include the state rare golden alexanders and limestone adder’s-tongue as well as the state threatened pink thoroughwort. Noteworthy animal species include the watch listed springtail and the state endangered Indiana bat.