Mounds State Park delivers hilly, riverside trails that wind through unique ecosystems plus thousands of years of history. It harbors endangered plants and animals, ancient trees with six foot diameters, and the namesake 2000 year old earth mounds built by prehistoric Native Americans and used as celestial calendars. All of this could be lost forever if real estate developers have their way. The adventure club’s mission this weekend was two-fold. First, we did what we do best: seek out a new outdoors destination and explore it. Second, we wanted to educate ourselves and spread awareness of the proposal to construct a dam on the White River. This dam would destroy much of this park by converting it to a reservoir. A group of five us from SB were joined by Kevin Tungesvick (an activist that’s been protesting the plan), Stormy (a writer that has an outdoors column in the Kokomo Herald), as well as three other knowledgeable locals. Kevin guided us on a hike through Mounds Fen and told us about the ecosystem and what was at stake. We got to stroll along the river and view the ancient mounds in surprisingly pleasant temperatures. After he had to go, we hiked several other trails in the park. A separate group of four from SB, led by Yiyuan (YY), got a later start but also made it out to Mounds for some hiking. After we left, we ate an excellent lunch at the Nile Mediterranean in Anderson before heading home.
It’s important to note that natural areas like Mounds benefit the local economy by bringing in out-of-town groups like us. Protecting and managing them in a sustainable way is a much better long term strategy than destroying them for short term gains. If construction of this dam does move ahead, a wonderful natural resource of the region will be lost.
How can you help?
1. Write to local officials (http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2014/legislators/ and http://www.in.gov/gov/2333.htm)
2. Take a trip there. Explore the park and ask the staff about the dam. Eat lunch somewhere local in Anderson and let them know why you’re there.
3. Check out http://www.moundslakereservoir.org/ to stay up to date on the issue.
Kevin explains it here
Photo credits: Kerry Regan