Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College

Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College

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Farmers wanted- Newly forming permaculture agrivillage in Western Washington.
Bill - - i want to send a note to your Mom upon learning of your Dad's death. Whats her address------you could text me at 574 320 6263
To The Michiana Seed Swap. I will not be able to make it to the swap today. This winter storm has really made a mess of the roads and I don't think I could not drive fast enough on them to get there on time.
Goshen College Tom Hertzel and students from the Fall Leadership Program visit PBC Victory Garden at Pilgrim Baptist Church of Fort Wayne so happy to share our story "Stewardship" Plant a Seed and Feed the Need
My amazing team at Merry Lea surprised me wonderfully last week! I am honored to be engaged in the many facets of the work here. I continue to be energized by my team members, the mission and vision of Merry Lea and the many opportunities to care of God's creation in regenerative ways.

Merry Lea is an 1,189-acre nature preserve owned by Goshen College located near Wolf Lake, Ind. Experience our diverse ecosystems through hiking or participate in one of our environmental education programs.

Merry Lea's eight miles of trails are free and open to the public everyday from dawn to dusk. The Learning Center Building is open during normal business hours for browsing our bookstore and exhibits. Please review our policies surrounding COVID-19 on our website: https://www.goshen.edu/merrylea/

Management of the center is guided by a Christian theology of earthkeeping. Most of the habitats foun

Operating as usual

07/23/2021

Elkhart County 4-H Fair

Are you at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair? Come visit us for Green Earth Education Day in Heritage Park!

Our graduate students are all set up to make bee hatcheries, color pictures of #pollinators and more with you and your kiddos! Stop by and take a photo with your creations and share them with us using #BeeMerryLea

Photos from Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions's post 07/21/2021

Hosting the climate riders from Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions last week was a highlight as we toured the landscapes, sustainable farm and Rieth Village.

And yes, hacky sack is a must at Merry Lea 👉 #Facts

#cscsclimateride

Timeline Photos 07/20/2021

Check out some of the summer research projects happening at Merry Lea and across Goshen College campus!

Fifteen GC students are completing or recently completed summer projects through the Maple Scholars and Hickory Scholars programs. See the wide range of projects these students worked on!

http://ow.ly/ynUS50Fz5eX

Photos from Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College's post 07/19/2021

"'Cause we were like, 'woaaaah!' And I was like, 'woaaaah,' and you were like, 'woaaahh...'" - Crush from Finding Nemo🐢

😲Finding a Blanding's turtle is certainly a "woaaaah!" moment for us here at Merry Lea, let alone several! This summer, Goshen College and Manchester University students have been catching and tracking multiple Blanding's turtles - a state endangered semi-aquatic turtle - to map where they travel to better understand their preferred habitats and behaviors.

To keep individual turtles distinct, the research team has named each tagged turtle after past and current Merry Lea/Goshen College faculty. Liam Elias (GC '22) is pictured here holding a turtle named Becky, in homage to President Stoltzfus.

🐢Research is turtley awesome and far from bland!🐢

[Note: Our research team has acquired special permits to track and handle this endangered species. Please do not handle wildlife, but give them space and enjoy observing them from afar.]

07/09/2021

🥳Join us in welcoming our 2021-22 graduate cohort!

These graduate students have already dived into their classes, becoming immersed in the natural world of Merry Lea, on their way to becoming masters in #EnvironmentalEducation.

🥳Join us in welcoming our 2021-22 graduate cohort!

These graduate students have already dived into their classes, becoming immersed in the natural world of Merry Lea, on their way to becoming masters in #EnvironmentalEducation.

Photos from Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College's post 07/08/2021

Do YOU support your local food co-op?

The Agroecology Summer Intensive students explored a variety of food co-ops in the Michiana food system.

1️⃣They visited Maple City Market: a Consumer Co-op, meaning that it is owned by community members.
🍓Members buy goods from the co-op and have a say in how the store is run by way of their elected board of directors.
🍓Maple City Market makes a concerted effort to connect local farmers to their community, allowing people to eat healthy local food while bolstering their local economy. This care for the collective makes them a treasured part of the Goshen community.

2️⃣Students also visited Spring River Dairy, the dairy supplier for Fry Farms Co-op. Fry Farms is a Producer Co-op: a type of co-op that comprises several different producers of commodities or crafts that gather together to process and distribute their goods.
🍓At Fry Farms, these goods include meat from Hopeful Farms and dairy from Spring River Dairy.
🍓Students tried some amazing butter and fresh A2/A2 milk, produced by cows whose milk is made up entirely of A2 proteins, which are easier to digest than A1 proteins. This is why A2/A2 milk is gaining in popularity as a digestible alternative to the A1/A2 milk you often find in stores.
🍓Best of all, the students got to see some truly happy cows! Moooo!

#ASIFoodSystems #agroMerryLea #goodofgoshen

Climate Ride reflection June 14 Beck - Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions 07/07/2021

Climate Ride reflection June 14 Beck - Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions

Have you been following Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions' Climate Ride? This bike trip across the country brings faith and climate justice into conversation.

Read Denver Beck's reflection on "Reconnecting with with Land" from the ride, a Goshen College Sustainability Studies major
https://sustainableclimatesolutions.org/climate-ride-reflection-june-14-beck/

#cscsclimateride

Climate Ride reflection June 14 Beck - Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions By Denver Beck ‘Reconnecting with the land’ Gardiner, Montana, June 14 As I think about the root problems of climate change, I think about the growing disconnection with the place that we inhabit. Erasure of traditional ecological knowledge, advancing technologies, capitalism, and environmental ...

Photos from Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College's post 07/06/2021

A trip to the grocery store may require more reading than you think.

Most food products are accompanied by all kinds of labels: All Natural, Non-GMO, Antibiotic Free, Certified Organic, All Vegetarian Diet, dairy-free, low-sodium, low-fat, no added sugar.

But what do they actually mean❓ And how can we trust these labels❓

Food labels help people make informed choices and purchase food that aligns with their values and nutritional needs. There are several ways to ensure that food labels match your needs and values: ✅visiting the farm or processing plant, ✅trusting the producer, or ✅relying on third party verification organizations such as Non-GMO Project, Fair Trade USA, USDA Organic.

The Agroecology Summer Intensive students visited two processing plants operating on different scales and examined their transparency in food labeling, packaging, and marketing. They visited:

🐔Miller Amish Country Poultry, a medium-sized industrial operation run by the Miller family for over 40 years, that specializes in raising and processing chickens.
🐷 Gunthorp Farms, a fifth generation family-run farm that specializes in pasture-raised turkeys, hogs, and sheep, and has a USDA-inspected processing plant onsite.

ASI students observed the production process of both businesses to understand the stages that take place before food is transported to consumers. Connecting with food producers - like the ASI students did - can provide more insight into the true meaning behind food labels and builds trust between consumers and producers.

#agroMerryLea #ASIFoodSystems

07/02/2021

Field Trip Friday at Merry Lea Sustainable Farm

See and learn about all the critters at Merry Lea Sustainable Farm with Noble County Public Library!

07/01/2021

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of food-insecure Americans rose by 17 million. Food banks around the country, including Community Harvest Food Bank - Fort Wayne, rose to the challenge of assisting those who couldn’t afford food.

Merry Lea’s Agroecology Summer Intensive students toured the Community Harvest Food Bank and learned about the ways food banks handled the increased demand of the pandemic and are continuing to offer fresh and healthy food to their clients. Students met with Roy, CHFB’s volunteer coordinator, to hear about the food bank’s farm.

🥦Very few #FoodBanks operate farms, so CHFB’s efforts to provide fresh produce to their clients go above and beyond!🍅

In addition to learning about how CHFB fits into the broader food system by using products that would otherwise be wasted and connecting food-insecure people with healthy, diverse foods, the students got to help out by packing 3 pallets of corn🌽 for distribution.

A big thanks to the Community Harvest Food Bank for taking the time to show students around and serving the Fort Wayne community!
#agroMerryLea #ASIFoodSystems

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of food-insecure Americans rose by 17 million. Food banks around the country, including Community Harvest Food Bank - Fort Wayne, rose to the challenge of assisting those who couldn’t afford food.

Merry Lea’s Agroecology Summer Intensive students toured the Community Harvest Food Bank and learned about the ways food banks handled the increased demand of the pandemic and are continuing to offer fresh and healthy food to their clients. Students met with Roy, CHFB’s volunteer coordinator, to hear about the food bank’s farm.

🥦Very few #FoodBanks operate farms, so CHFB’s efforts to provide fresh produce to their clients go above and beyond!🍅

In addition to learning about how CHFB fits into the broader food system by using products that would otherwise be wasted and connecting food-insecure people with healthy, diverse foods, the students got to help out by packing 3 pallets of corn🌽 for distribution.

A big thanks to the Community Harvest Food Bank for taking the time to show students around and serving the Fort Wayne community!
#agroMerryLea #ASIFoodSystems

06/26/2021

In 1964, the same year the Beatles played at the Indiana State Fair on their first America tour, Lee and Mary Jane Rieth acquired the first piece of land that would become the pioneering plot of Merry Lea. A portion of this original plot would come to be known as Onion Bottom.

However, this restored #wetland habitat did not resemble one when the Rieths first acquired it.

👉Read more to learn about the history of this land area and its #restoration process: https://www.goshen.edu/merrylea/onion-bottom-story/

In 1964, the same year the Beatles played at the Indiana State Fair on their first America tour, Lee and Mary Jane Rieth acquired the first piece of land that would become the pioneering plot of Merry Lea. A portion of this original plot would come to be known as Onion Bottom.

However, this restored #wetland habitat did not resemble one when the Rieths first acquired it.

👉Read more to learn about the history of this land area and its #restoration process: https://www.goshen.edu/merrylea/onion-bottom-story/

06/25/2021

Did you know plants can be grown entirely without soil❓🤯

🌱🍴Merry Lea’s summer agroecology students visited the Parkview Community Greenhouse and Learning Kitchen on a field trip. This education facility was purposely built in one of Fort Wayne’s food deserts and strives to improve the health of residents through skill-building classes on planning, growing and cooking nutritiously balanced meals.

🌱🍴The Learning Kitchen's greenhouse grows all the fresh food they use to teach with, using hydroponics systems - plants are grown in a nutrient-rich water that is continuously pumped through tanks.

🌱🍴Parkview’s Learning Kitchen sees food as preventative care: people who eat well throughout their life often have less health issues in the future. Learning how to eat healthy can make a big change in your life and your community!
#agroMerryLea #ASIFoodSystems

Did you know plants can be grown entirely without soil❓🤯

🌱🍴Merry Lea’s summer agroecology students visited the Parkview Community Greenhouse and Learning Kitchen on a field trip. This education facility was purposely built in one of Fort Wayne’s food deserts and strives to improve the health of residents through skill-building classes on planning, growing and cooking nutritiously balanced meals.

🌱🍴The Learning Kitchen's greenhouse grows all the fresh food they use to teach with, using hydroponics systems - plants are grown in a nutrient-rich water that is continuously pumped through tanks.

🌱🍴Parkview’s Learning Kitchen sees food as preventative care: people who eat well throughout their life often have less health issues in the future. Learning how to eat healthy can make a big change in your life and your community!
#agroMerryLea #ASIFoodSystems

06/24/2021

Metzger Dairy is a family-owned dairy operation milking a couple thousand cows.
🐮🐮
Our agroecology students talked to Ashton, a family member and employee of Metzger Dairy, about how they produce their milk and their day to day operations. Students toured the cows' and calves' spaces, the milking parlor and some of their feed production. As a mid-sized dairy, Metzger Dairy keeps the cows as comfortable as possible to produce large quantities of milk while remaining high in quality.
🐮🐮
Although Holstein cows have been the dominant milking breed for years and produce lots of milk, the dairy is switching to Jerseys because of the breed's superior quality in milk. Ashton explained that the demand for better quality milk with higher protein and fat content has been increasing and this is how they aim to stay ahead in a competitive industry. Passionate about their cows, the Metzgers strive to produce quality milk for their customers!

#agroMerryLea #ASIFoodSystems

Metzger Dairy is a family-owned dairy operation milking a couple thousand cows.
🐮🐮
Our agroecology students talked to Ashton, a family member and employee of Metzger Dairy, about how they produce their milk and their day to day operations. Students toured the cows' and calves' spaces, the milking parlor and some of their feed production. As a mid-sized dairy, Metzger Dairy keeps the cows as comfortable as possible to produce large quantities of milk while remaining high in quality.
🐮🐮
Although Holstein cows have been the dominant milking breed for years and produce lots of milk, the dairy is switching to Jerseys because of the breed's superior quality in milk. Ashton explained that the demand for better quality milk with higher protein and fat content has been increasing and this is how they aim to stay ahead in a competitive industry. Passionate about their cows, the Metzgers strive to produce quality milk for their customers!

#agroMerryLea #ASIFoodSystems

06/23/2021

For #NationalPollinatorWeek, what are your favorite summer wildflowers?

Pollinators are necessary for plants to grow fruit, vegetables and seed! Butterflies, bats, insects, birds and small mammals are important for food production and healthy wildlife habitats.🌷And the summer flowers are starting to bloom around Merry Lea like this swamp milkweed!🌷

Want more resources on pollinator gardens? Check out Professor Joel Pontius' article in Edible Michiana : https://ediblemichiana.ediblecommunities.com/things-do/pollinator-gardens

For #NationalPollinatorWeek, what are your favorite summer wildflowers?

Pollinators are necessary for plants to grow fruit, vegetables and seed! Butterflies, bats, insects, birds and small mammals are important for food production and healthy wildlife habitats.🌷And the summer flowers are starting to bloom around Merry Lea like this swamp milkweed!🌷

Want more resources on pollinator gardens? Check out Professor Joel Pontius' article in Edible Michiana : https://ediblemichiana.ediblecommunities.com/things-do/pollinator-gardens

06/22/2021

Farmers selling directly to customers allow people the opportunity to connect with their food and get a peak at where their milk is coming from.

The Agroecology Summer Intensive students visited Fry Farms, a co-op that provides its customers and local community with quality meat and dairy products. Spring River Dairy (the dairy side of the Fry Farms Co-op) produces A2 milk, which many people find easier to digest than standard commercial milk because of the lack of A1 beta-casein.

The dairy industry can be elusive to many consumers and Fry Farms Co-op breaks down that wall by connecting milk drinkers to the cows!
#agroMerryLea #ASIFoodSystems

Farmers selling directly to customers allow people the opportunity to connect with their food and get a peak at where their milk is coming from.

The Agroecology Summer Intensive students visited Fry Farms, a co-op that provides its customers and local community with quality meat and dairy products. Spring River Dairy (the dairy side of the Fry Farms Co-op) produces A2 milk, which many people find easier to digest than standard commercial milk because of the lack of A1 beta-casein.

The dairy industry can be elusive to many consumers and Fry Farms Co-op breaks down that wall by connecting milk drinkers to the cows!
#agroMerryLea #ASIFoodSystems

06/20/2021

How did the little bird get in trouble at school?
.
.
It got caught tweeting on a test...😅🐤

Happy Father's Day to all the father figures from this prothonotary warbler and Merry Lea's animal dads. Celebrate by taking a hike at Merry Lea and let us know your favorite nature-inspired dad jokes!

[📸 A small yellow bird with grey wings perches on a log in water, its reflection shown underneath in the water. Photo by Marty Stoner/ML volunteer]

How did the little bird get in trouble at school?
.
.
It got caught tweeting on a test...😅🐤

Happy Father's Day to all the father figures from this prothonotary warbler and Merry Lea's animal dads. Celebrate by taking a hike at Merry Lea and let us know your favorite nature-inspired dad jokes!

[📸 A small yellow bird with grey wings perches on a log in water, its reflection shown underneath in the water. Photo by Marty Stoner/ML volunteer]

Our Story

Merry Lea is a natural sanctuary located near Wolf Lake, Indiana. Management of the center is guided by a Christian theology of earth-keeping. Most of the habitats found in northeastern Indiana are present on Merry Lea. Unique geological features such as peat bogs, a marl pit, and glacial gravel formations are present. Observable management practices include wetland, prairie, and savanna restorations, as well as sustainable agriculture. Merry Lea is a leader in environmental education, offering pre-K to 12 programs, undergraduate semesters, a master’s degree and programs for the general public.

Videos (show all)

Elkhart County 4-H Fair
Nature Fest Thank You
Going Batty for Bats
Currant Pruning
Sweep netting for insects
BioBlitz at Nature Fest
Explore the Nature PreK Outdoor Classroom for Nature Fest
Go on a hike with clue stations for Nature Fest
Prescribed burning

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Our office buildings are usually open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., please call us at (260) 799-5869 to confirm hours. Our trails are free and open everyday dawn until dusk.

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2388 S 500 W
Albion, IN
46701
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