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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Indiana's wonderful landscape

Thursday, June 24, 2010

With the Fourth of July weekend coming up, everyone is probably starting to make plans to see fireworks, spend time with friends and family, or just get away from work for a few days.

One possible thing you might do while enjoying your holiday weekend is visit some of Indiana's wonderful recreation locations.

Indiana is home to 24 state parks, nine lakes managed by the Department of Natural Resources, 13 state forests, 22 fish and wildlife areas, 12 state museums and historic sites and 15 nature preserves.

Each of these locations offer a unique experience that you might enjoy if you visit them.

A few of the local sites include Big Walnut Nature Preserve, Cagles Mill (Lieber SRA), Cecil M. Harden and Mansfield Roller Mill, Chinook Fish and Wildlife Area, McCormick's Creek State Park, Owen-Putnam State Forest, Shades State Park, Shakamak State Park, and Turkey Run State Park.

Each of these locations offer something different, including hiking trails, fishing, some horseback riding, dining, picnic areas, swimming and camping.

To find out more about the various recreation locations around Indiana, you can go to http://www.in.gov/dnr/52808.htm, and obtain a copy of the 2010 Indiana Recreation Guide. There are a few paper copies available at the Clay County Extension Office.

While visiting one of the recreation areas, you might decide to fish. If you are a fisherman, remember that you need to obtain a fishing and hunting license.

For Indiana residents, the license range in price is based on your age and how many days you plan to fish. You can purchase a fishing license online, in person, by phone or by mail.

To find out more about a fishing license, visit IndianaOutdoor.IN.gov.

Once you obtain the license and decide to fish, remember all the precautionary measures you need to take if you decide to fish from a boat. Particularly the fact that you need to have a life vest on and avoid driving the boat if you have enjoyed certain beverages.

Individuals who plan to camp or have a cookout will need to take steps to protect our natural wonders while they are camping. They can do this by not transporting any firewood to that site from outside the county. This is because wood boring beetles and flathead borers can both be found in firewood. The difference is that wood boring beetles often emerge during mid-winter once the larva has had a chance to warm up indoors. Flathead borers, like Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), typically emerge during the summer. One of the main reasons wood should never be transported from one location to another is because of EAB. Currently, EAB is only a county or two away since Monroe County has now been classified as infested.

Spending time with loved ones while enjoying the wonders that Indiana has to offer is a pastime that many take pleasure in.

It is important that you follow all state laws when visiting recreation sites and don't take firewood across county lines.

If you aren't able to enjoy the wondrous recreation sites available to you in Indiana, then at least take a few minutes and enjoy the wonders in your backyard.

You can do this by simply smelling the flowers growing by your porch or by observing all the unique behaviors that your friendly cardinal might be exhibiting.

As always, if you have any questions, or would like information on any agriculture, horticulture or natural resource topic, please contact your local Purdue Extension Office at 448-9041 in Clay County or 812-829-5020 in Owen County, or reach me directly at smith535@purdue.edu. Purdue University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution.

Upcoming opportunities available to you through Purdue Extension include:

* June 26 -- Fifth Arts in the Park, McCormick's Creek State Park,

* July 1 -- Purdue Weed Day, Lafayette. Call 1-765-494-4656 to pre-register,

* July 14 -- Nitty Gritty II, Indianapolis, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Cost $80. Register by July 2 at www.infarmbureau.org,

* July 16-23 -- Clay County 4-H Fair, and

* July 18-24 -- Owen County 4-H Fair.