Marian University and Indiana Humanities hosted a Next Indiana Campfires excursion in the beautiful month of October at the Nina Mason Pulliam EcoLab on Marian University’s campus in Indianapolis. The outing was part of “Next Indiana Campfires,” Indiana Humanities’ new series that pairs literature and nature to help Hoosiers explore Indiana’s wild places and discuss conservation and stewardship.
Attendees enjoyed thoughtful conversation during a scenic walk through the 55-acre natural area nestled on the Marian University campus, first restored more than 100 years ago by prominent landscape architect Jens Jensen, who used native plants in his installations. Micah Towery, assistant professor of English at Goshen College, lead the group in readings by Wendell Berry, Jens Jensen, and Robert Pfingston, while Marian University's restoration ecologist, Stephanie Schuck, explained Jensen's design and educated participants on the natural history of the EcoLab. It was a lovely fall night, with a beautiful rainbow and sunset, crisp fall air, and colors of autumn. The conversation continued around a campfire, along with a meal and of course s'mores! The beavers were slapping their tails on the water as the participants reflected on their experience, which was a special treat.
Next Indiana Campfires were held in some of Indiana’s most diverse landscapes—places like the Limberlost swamps, an old growth forest in Evansville, and the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. We consider it an honor to be able to partner with Indiana Humanities on this wonderful project, and to be one of the many beautiful natural areas in Indiana to host the Next IN Campfires events this year!