Embracing a Healthy Family: Bison at Kankakee Sands, Indiana

Bison at Kankakee Sands, Indiana

Less than a year ago, we drove by the Kankakee Sands Nature Conservancy in Morocco, Indiana with no luck of viewing these majestic beauties. Bison, like many other areas in the country, used to roam plentiful across the Indiana prairies. This all changed with the encroachment of man, agriculture and industry. It's reported that in 1824, a traveler came across a bison near the current preserve's location and killed it. By 1830, they were all gone. Since 1996, the Nature Conservancy has been purchasing acres and restoring the prairie lands to their customary habitat. In 2016, a herd of around 23 were introduced to the prairie along with viewing areas off of Highway 41 for anyone to see.

Not only are there bison to see but it's also a birder and wildflower enthusiast's paradise as the website explains. I'll admit when I drove by, I wanted only to see the bison so my limited scope of interest and of time, prevented me from exploring. It now has 8,000 acres of wetlands and prairies and is one of the largest east of the Mississippi. There is also a sign depicting a place called Beaver Lake which would have surrounded the area except in the late 1800s, it was drained. One of the largest lakes in Indiana, seven miles long and five miles wide, it provided food, furs and shelter to the then Native Americans and later food and furs for the early settlers. It took over 20 years to drain it and it was eventually turned over to farm land.

My photo didn't turn out very well compliments of the snow storm we drove into:

After taking in the bison or walking the trails, drive a bit further to Kentland and view an ancient meteor crater that was discovered in 1880.

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