News & Updates

Mary Linton: A Key Thread in Merry Lea History

Mary Linton, a former Goshen College biology professor from 1989-2002, established a bridge between Goshen College and Merry Lea that still exists today. Linton was the first Lindsey Fellow as it appears today and was a conduit for immersing undergraduate students in Merry Lea’s habitats to appreciate the intrinsic value of nature. We pay tribute to Mary Linton’s impacts upon Merry Lea and her legacy.

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Hickory Scholar Project: Cattle Grazing and Prairie Burning

This research assess the potential for sustainably grazing domestic livestock on native prairie plants and the effects of burning on the ecosystem. Three students also conducted individual projects in relation to this research including arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi, insects and carbon sequestration.

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Summer Research: Salamanders

This pilot study focuses on four species of salamanders: Jefferson/blue-spotted complex (hybrids of the two species), spotted, small-mouthed and Eastern red-backed salamanders. The goal is to assess population dynamics and genetic diversity of these species at specific sites.

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Summer Research: Small Mammals

Tasha studied the population dynamics and habitat use of small mammals, specifically northern short-tailed shrews, mice and meadow voles. Because very little research has been done on northern short-tailed shrews, Tasha focused primarily on this species to better understand their preferred habitats.

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Hickory Scholar Project: Blanding’s Turtles

Blanding’s turtles are Indiana state endangered semi-aquatic turtles that rely on multiple habitats for foraging, laying eggs and breeding. Liam and Tyler trapped and attached radio tags to four female and two male Blanding’s turtles to better understand their habitat usage and behavior in hopes of better protecting them.

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Hickory Scholar Project: Bird Banding and Point Counts

Both Mira and Ruby worked with Merry Lea staff and volunteers to band birds to contribute to a continent-wide project, and Mira conducted bird point counts at 34 sites across Merry Lea, surveying each site three times throughout the summer.

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The Return to Wetlands: Merry Lea’s First Restoration Project

Like much of the land found at Merry Lea, Onion Bottom is a restored wetland habitat. Its deep marsh and still pools of water provide homes for countless species such as waterfowl, turtles, bugs and plants. Though it’s a wetland, it did not resemble one when the Rieths acquired it decades ago. Read more to learn about the history of this land area and its restoration process.

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Mary Jane Rieth: a Devoted Visionary

As Women’s History Month is coming to an end this March, we celebrate Mary Jane and her steadfast vision for Merry Lea. Her visionary work manifested in significant contributions, from organizational operations to providing funding, making Merry Lea what it is today.

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Nature Preschool Fashion Week

You don’t need to travel for this year’s New York Fashion Week in the middle of a winter storm – not to mention during a global pandemic – to catch the latest fashion. See what styles and trends our Nature Preschoolers have to offer for winter 2021. We may not know what the next few months will look like weather-wise, but at least we can ride it out in style.

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