aoberlin@kpcmedia.com

SEVEN SISTERS LAKES — Life unfolds a moment at a time.

At Wing Haven Nature Preserve, an ACRES Land Trust initiative will take note of changes over a 200-year period.

On Saturday, at Wing Haven’s annual Adopt-A-Tree Festival, guests can see the story begin to unfold.

The event will be held 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Wing Haven, 180 W. C.R. 400N. Activities include making a nature journal and trail mix and going on a wild rumpus hike and listening walk. The purpose of the longtime local event is to adopt a tree start to take home and plant.

Also on Saturday, this year’s 200-Year Ecological Reflections art submission will be unveiled — a hand-sketched map of Wing Haven by Adam Johnson of Yonder Clothing Company.

The first in the series, which kicked off last summer, was a painting of Little Gentian Lake by Gwen Gutwein. Little Gentian is one of the pristine Seven Sisters Lakes, protected by Wing Haven to the south and Trine State Recreation Area to the north, along with some private landowners.

“We cannot fully fathom the magnificent forests, prairies and wetlands that covered the entire state 200 years ago. But over the next 199 years, these long-term projects will engage numerous visitors, community members and experts in creative and scientific work, creating a deep record of these places, leading us to a fuller understanding of ourselves and our time on Earth,” said Kevin McKelvey, ACRES member, associate professor at the University of Indianapolis, poet and inspiration for ACRES’ 200-year Ecological Reflections initiative at Wing Haven.

In August, the project kicked off with a party at the preserve. Those involved helped create a participatory poem. Scott Namestnik of Orbis Environmental Consulting presented an ecological survey, concentrating on the north-central part of the property on May 26 and July 25. He found a total of 421 plant species — 386 native and 35 nonnative.

Nature is always changing. The purpose of the project is to document changes to provide a working guide for those who continue to cherish Wing Haven and other natural areas centuries from now.

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