Nature Lovers: Join us on July 18 for a Natural Bloomington Ecotour!

18841701800_3fd9b5e3bb_z 19029413825_0d70c70cdf_z 18841686840_eaa8615fbf_z19032519401_461ffe8c35_z

Please join the Heartland Chapter of the American Council of the Blind for a Natural Bloomington Ecotour with guest Steven Higgs, author of the upcoming book A Guide to Natural Areas of Southern Indiana, to be released in June 2016 by IU Press.

Higgs is a veteran environmental writer and photographer and the founder of Natural Bloomington, the first ecotourism business in Indiana. Ecotourism is an ecologically friendly form of nature travel.

Higgs has planned an ecotour to three natural areas around Bloomington for members of the American Council of the Blind on July 18, from 9 a.m. to noon. The tour will include stops at the Sycamore Land Trust’s Beanblossom Bottoms and Powell West Preserve, and the City of Bloomington’s Leonard Springs Nature Park.

The 750-acre-plus Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve, a complex of protected wetlands on the Beanblossom Creek northwest of Bloomington. It features a diverse combination of lowland ecosystems. The creek is a tributary of the West Fork of the White River. We will hike along a wide, easy old roadbed to a deck near an eagle’s nest.

The 190-acre Porter West Preserve just west of Bloomington contains a combination of mature and young forest, early successional areas, small ponds, sandstone outcrops, and karst features, including sinkholes and a spring. We will hike a mowed trail from the parking lot along the edge of woods to the north and an open field to the south.

The 95-acre Leonard Springs Nature Park, named after one of two natural springs that drain into the wetland below, features a landscape formed by the forces of karst and humankind. The water that emerges from the large alcoves at Leonard Spring and Shirley Spring has flowed for miles through underground passages in the soluble limestone that underlies the region. We will hike the road along the preserve’s north boundary.

Other details:

  • We will be meeting at a central location to board an 18 passenger Rural Transit bus.
  • The bus will be departing at 9 am and returning at approximately noon.
  • We plan to have lunch together at Applebee’s Bar & Grill after the tour.
  • Space on the bus is limited, so let us know soon if you want to join the tour!
  • A sighted guide is recommended. If you do not have someone in mind who can come with you, let us know so we can help make that arrangement.
  • If you know someone who might be interested in joining us for this event, please feel free to share this invitation with them. Remember, anyone interested can join our Heartland ACB chapter!
  • Destinations are preliminary and are subject to change, based on weather and the number of participants.
  • Natural Bloomington does not charge for ecotours but does accept contributions at the tours’ ends.

Contact us at

More information about Natural Bloomington, including blog posts about previous tours, photos and articles, can be found on the web site

Above photograph by Steven Higgs.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s