by: Reed Parker, Inside INdiana Business
Posted: Mar 29, 2021 / 12:20 PM EST / Updated: March 29, 2021 / 12:20 PM EST
MUNCIE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – Indiana’s second largest protected forest with mature growth is expected to soon become the state’s newest wildlife sanctuary. Ball State University’s Board of Trustees approved a proposal to dedicate Ginn Woods as a state conservation area.
University President Geoffrey Mearns says he will sign the proposal and send it to the Indiana Natural Resources Commission for approval on May 18.
“The inauguration of this land as a state reserve is in line with our university’s strategic and master plans,” said President Mearns. “Ball State is committed to environmental protection and sustainability. We also believe in having a positive impact on our community. This move will ensure that Ginn Woods will remain unchanged for decades and be available for critical research and education that will benefit both our local and national communities. “
The university says the 161 acre forest is along the Mississinewa River in northern Delaware County, which the university purchased in 1970 by Mary Baldwin McKinzie, John, and Sarah Ginn’s great-granddaughter.
The area is one of six natural land field stations or environmental education centers administered by Ball State. The university says that once Ginn Woods is officially designated a state reserve, Ball State will retain ownership and preserve the land. Governor Eric Holcomb would have the option to complete the process by signing an order after approval from the Indiana Natural Resources Commission.