The Indiana Natural Resources Commission has designated a nearly 12-acre plot of land across Indianapolis Boulevard from Wicker Memorial Park as the state's newest nature preserve.
The Grand Prairie Nature Preserve in Highland will permanently protect from development remaining wet prairie of the Chicago Lake Plain, including the state-threatened earleaf foxglove plant, Leiberg's witchgrass, and a variety of other prairie plant species.
Mid- to late summer is the best time to see the prairie in bloom, according to the Natural Resources Commission.
The site, already owned by the Department of Natural Resources, also contains the state-endangered smooth green snake, the common nighthawk, and the plains garter snake, which has been designated by Indiana as an animal of special concern due to its rarity.
The new preserve is triangle-shaped. It's bordered by the Erie Lackawanna Trail at the north, Norfolk Southern tracks to the east, and a large shopping center facing Indianapolis Boulevard just north of Ridge Road on the southwest.