Life at Merry Lea
Live, study, explore, and teach on site in the outdoor classroom of Merry Lea: where you can walk through oak hickory forests, a pawpaw grove, or a restored prairie to class.
Most of the ecosystems found in Northeastern Indiana are present at Merry Lea. The 1,189-acre preserve is among the best-assembled land preserves in Indiana and contains a wonderful complex of wetlands, lakeshores, upland and lowland forests, prairies and meadows. Unique geological features such as peat bogs, a marl pit, and glacial gravel formations are also part of the landscape. The Merry Lea Sustainable Farm showcases strategies for growing food without harming surrounding ecosystems.
Classes are held mostly outdoors exploring the nature preserve. In the winter classes are held indoors, but several field trips throughout the year combine indoor meetings and outdoor tour experiences.
The program provides an immersion in natural history that will enable participants to share their knowledge and passion with society.
Live and learn with a small cohort of other passionate, aspiring educators. We typically have cohorts between 5 and 11 students. This allows for meaningful collaborations between students and staff, as well as individualized mentoring and advising from the faculty.
Students and applicants come from various educational and professional backgrounds. We have had students from 22-50 years old with backgrounds in environmental studies, biology, classroom teaching, and in the humanities like: psychology, religion, art history, and Latino studies. These diverse experiences enhance the dialogue and team-based learning within the cohort.
Our faculty come from diverse backgrounds and fields, and teach various graduate and/or undergraduate courses throughout the year. Graduate students also receive mentoring and advising from our experienced faculty: a benefit from having a small cohort.
Please reach out to the Merry Lea team if you have any questions or would like to learn more.