Local nature group asking for community input


The Tribune Staff Reports

What do you want at nearby nature preserves — more trails? Easier parking? Interpretive signs? Guided hikes?

And how can nature groups serve you — by offering more programs for families? More in-school or after-school programs? Opportunities to volunteer in nature?

Local nonprofit Oak Heritage Conservancy wants residents to share their opinions in a quick online survey. The survey is just 12 questions and will help guide the group’s work.

The survey is available until Monday at oakheritageconservancy.org, and there are links to the survey on the conservancy’s Facebook and Instagram pages.

Everyone who fills out the survey can enter to win a $25 gift certificate donated by Off Broadway Taproom in Madison. The restaurant donated the gift certificate to encourage people to participate.

“Everyone should fill out the survey because it is not only beneficial to Oak Heritage but also benefits you,” said Nolan Wicks, a senior at Hanover College serving as an intern for the conservancy. “This survey will help Oak Heritage better understand what the people in our communities want, how we can contribute to the communities we serve and how Oak Heritage can best direct our efforts.”

One of his tasks is to find out how the conservancy can better serve southeast Indiana. He has been researching which communities have nature preserves and trails and which areas still need those community resources.

He’s also looking at how other groups like Oak Heritage encourage people to get outside and enjoy their nature preserves. Last but not least, he’s designing the survey and asking people to answer the 12 questions.

Wicks is serving Oak Heritage as part of Hanover College’s McManaman Internship Program through the political science department.

“I wanted to intern at Oak Heritage Conservancy because I believe the environment is an essential resource that needs protected,” he said.

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