Youth Explore Conservation at Merry Lea

About a dozen high school students are spending a week at Merry Lea in June to learn more about sustainability, land management and future careers that might interest them. The schedule looks like a cross between summer camp and college. The week began with a toasty cross-property hike. Participants are also scheduled for service projects, a tour of the Merry Lea Sustainable Farm, a research hike, a smattering of geology and plenty of campfires.

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West Side Project Nears Completion

Unlike many workers, Bill Minter can see at least one of the things he’s accomplished over the past quarter century. It is a 65-acre naturalized area on the west side of Merry Lea. The 25-year project transformed abandoned cropland overrun with invasive woody shrubs into native wetland, prairie and oak savanna habitats.

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Farm Food Reaches Mouths Via CSA

Merry Lea’s spring and summer CSA is in full swing, offering weekly bags of food to customers. Assistant Farm Manager Ellie Schertz prepares the deliveries every Tuesday. Chickens, salad greens and vigorous bunches of lovage are in this week’s goodie bags. Lovage is a celery-like herb used in salads and soups. It will go well with the chicken, Ellie says.

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Prairie burning near Kesling Wetland

Prairies Burn a Month Early

Warm weather the weekend of February 18 gave Land Manager Bill Minter and any nearby fire fans a leg up on spring prairie burning.

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Kayak with chickens

Faculty Prepare for New Sustainability Majors

Goshen College has been offering summer agriculture education since 2008 and fall sustainability education since 2012 through Merry Lea. But beginning in the fall of 2017, the college will be offering students complete majors in these rapidly-emerging field

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Exploring Goat Cay, part of Andros Marine National Park.

Master’s Students Explore Andros Island

Students in Merry Lea’s Master’s in Environmental Education program are learning to teach in a new ecosystem: a tropical island. This year, the curriculum expanded to include a three-week experience on Andros Island—a part of the Bahamas.

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New Agroecology Profs Join Merry Lea’s Team

In early January, John and Ruth Mischler joined the Merry Lea Team. The couple shares one position, with John as the director of agroecology and Ruth working quarter time as an assistant professor in the Sustainability and Environmental Education Department.

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Women doing artwork.

Women’s Spirituality Retreat Makes Earth, Women Visible

Women at Merry Lea’s Women’s Spirituality Retreat January 27-28 used empty picture frames to explore the theme, Invisible Women, Invisible Earth. They also found time for artwork and reading related to the theme.

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Students in Merry Lea's Master's in Environmental Education program visit the Heidelberg Place art project.

Master’s Students Meet Green Detroit

Students in Merry Lea’s Master’s in Environmental Education program spent December 1 and 2 in Detroit, Mich., learning about greening in an urban context. Professional field studies such as this overnight field trip are a regular part of the program. Several of them feature urban contexts to broaden the experiences that students receive in rural Northern Indiana.

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Merry Leaflet

The Merry Lea Mission

  • Providing a natural sanctuary for northern Indiana’s plants and animals
  • Providing environmental education for people of all ages
  • Providing a setting for re-creating opportunities that benefit the human body and spirit while not exploiting the land or excessively disturbing its ecosystems
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