Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College

Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College

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Happy StoryWalk® Week!

Pictured is the StoryWalk® from the Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College in partnership with the Noble County Public Library in Indiana.

"Merry Lea is a nature preserve dedicated to providing environmental education for people of all ages. Our StoryWalk® in partnership with Noble County Public Library invites families to explore our woodland by reading seasonal, nature-based books together. Repeated, authentic experiences in nature lead to ownership, care, and stewardship of the earth and of living things. Developing young learners is one avenue toward building strong, resilient communities. This StoryWalk® is one of many ongoing efforts by Merry Lea to encourage this growth by getting families outside to explore the marvels of the natural world together."

"Merry Lea is a nature preserve dedicated to providing environmental education for people of all ages. We partnered with Noble County Public Library to provide this fun, interactive activity that places a children’s story, page by page, along a walking path. The current featured story is 'Leaf Jumpers' by Carole Ge**er, where families explore our fall woodland while learning how to identify leaves and make leaf rubbings to take home."

The StoryWalk® Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. StoryWalk® is a registered service mark owned by Ms. Ferguson.

#StoryWalkWeek
As the Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College Sustainability Leadership Semester celebrates 10 years, get a glimpse into what hands-on learning and leadership looks like while on the canoe trip!
Some amazing pics from the amazing Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College Enchanted Forest last weekend!
Visit Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College this Friday and Saturday for the fun, family friendly Enchanted Forest!

#VisitNoblecounty #enchantedforest #happyhalloween
Were you a student of Dr. Mary Linton? Join us at Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College on Friday, Oct. 1 to celebrate and honor her contributions to Merry Lea and Goshen College. Register below ⬇️
Happy Autumn Equinox! It's the first official day of fall. 🍂

The ACRES staff recently took a daytrip to Noble County for our fall team outing. These days are an opportunity to explore the communities we serve, build relationships and have fun as a team! Enjoy these photos from our latest outing.

A warm thank you to our friends at Gene Stratton-Porter State Historic Site, Black Pine Animal Sanctuary and Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College for hosting our group!
Today's the last day to sign up for these great Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College workshops!
See what our new students experienced at Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College last weekend!
Join our next round of Junior/Teen Indiana Master Naturalist as we partner with Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College and their staff to put on this great program! This class typically fills up quickly so act fast! Registration information can be found at the link below.
We were so excited to host the Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions Climate Riders in Goshen and at Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College last week (along with our three GC student riders)!
More from the Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions Climate Ride stop at Goshen & Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College!

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

Photos from Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College's post 12/29/2021

📖Tales & Trails is back for 2022 with NEW event times!

Hear a tale and hike a trail with your preschooler to discover the natural wonders around you together! Children and their caregiver(s) gather for a short story that incites curiosity before exploring different places around Merry Lea.

📖This is a 1.5-hour program that occurs on the last Tuesday of each month (except December) from 10 - 11:30 a.m.

Join in the fun all year long! Learn more on our website: https://www.goshen.edu/merrylea/tales-and-trails-2022/

12/27/2021

🙋Who's looking forward to the Michiana Regional Seed Swap?

Among the educational speakers will be Dani Tippman, presenting "Growing Myaamia Gardens, Culture and Friends."

Dani Tippmann is a Miami Native American, descended from Takumwah and Chief Richardville, and is a citizen of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma. Her knowledge of plants has been collected over the years from tribal members and elders, including her mother, aunts and elder tradition bearers. She speaks about traditional Native plants used in storytelling, food, medicine and technology, and about traditional Myaamia lifeways, culture and history.

Learn more about her presentation and the seed swap: https://www.goshen.edu/merrylea/michiana-regional-seed-swap-fourth-annual/

[📸 : Dani Tippman (pictured bottom, right) teaches students in the Jr/Teen Indiana Master Naturalist program at Merry Lea about native plants. Photo by Kaitlyn Sproles/ML]

#MichianaSeedSwap #SeedSaving

🙋Who's looking forward to the Michiana Regional Seed Swap?

Among the educational speakers will be Dani Tippman, presenting "Growing Myaamia Gardens, Culture and Friends."

Dani Tippmann is a Miami Native American, descended from Takumwah and Chief Richardville, and is a citizen of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma. Her knowledge of plants has been collected over the years from tribal members and elders, including her mother, aunts and elder tradition bearers. She speaks about traditional Native plants used in storytelling, food, medicine and technology, and about traditional Myaamia lifeways, culture and history.

Learn more about her presentation and the seed swap: https://www.goshen.edu/merrylea/michiana-regional-seed-swap-fourth-annual/

[📸 : Dani Tippman (pictured bottom, right) teaches students in the Jr/Teen Indiana Master Naturalist program at Merry Lea about native plants. Photo by Kaitlyn Sproles/ML]

#MichianaSeedSwap #SeedSaving

12/24/2021

Can you name where this photo was taken?

❄️ Merry Lea's offices will be closed for the holidays Dec. 24 to Jan. 2.❄️ However, our trails remain free and open to the public from sunrise to sunset! Come out with your friends and family (or escape from your family) and enjoy the trails (or walk off those 5 helpings of potatoes Grandma made you eat).

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Can you name where this photo was taken?

❄️ Merry Lea's offices will be closed for the holidays Dec. 24 to Jan. 2.❄️ However, our trails remain free and open to the public from sunrise to sunset! Come out with your friends and family (or escape from your family) and enjoy the trails (or walk off those 5 helpings of potatoes Grandma made you eat).

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

12/22/2021

❄️Need ideas for family winter activities? Join us on January 8 to experiment, play and build with ice!

❄️Search for creatures coping with the cold and warm up with hot drinks after the program.

❄️Sign up now and learn more: https://www.goshen.edu/merrylea/ice-investigation/

❄️Need ideas for family winter activities? Join us on January 8 to experiment, play and build with ice!

❄️Search for creatures coping with the cold and warm up with hot drinks after the program.

❄️Sign up now and learn more: https://www.goshen.edu/merrylea/ice-investigation/

12/20/2021

Interested in joining our team? We have a couple teaching faculty positions open: https://www.goshen.edu/merrylea/join-us/employment-opportunities/

Interested in joining our team? We have a couple teaching faculty positions open: https://www.goshen.edu/merrylea/join-us/employment-opportunities/

Redefining community — what about our non-human neighbors? - Distinctively Goshen 12/17/2021

Redefining community — what about our non-human neighbors? - Distinctively Goshen

Redefining community — what about our non-human neighbors? - Distinctively Goshen If we are to save ourselves and our planet from the devastation we have wrought, it will require a redefinition of community.

Photos from Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College's post 12/17/2021

Not only do our master's in environmental education (MAEE) students teach field trips, they also get to go on field trips!

🌿The MAEE students spent the day with the Outdoor Experiences team of Cleveland Metroparks for their leadership class. They witnessed leadership theories and practices in application as they toured their largest nature center, observed their nature preschool and learned about their mobile outreach programming to urban schools.

🌿It was also impactful for the MAEE students to have a round table discussion with various program managers, and talk to women and people of color in these leadership positions.

🌿Thank you to Mary, Val, JB and the entire Outdoor Experiences team for spending the day with our MAEE students, and showing them thoughtfully designed and managed nature programming. It was inspiring to see the passion this group brings to their work!

Faculty and staff celebrate milestones | Goshen College 12/16/2021

Faculty and staff celebrate milestones | Goshen College

We had several Merry Lea team members celebrate milestones yesterday!

Congrats to:
- Bill Minter, Director of Land Management (30 years)
- Carol Good-Elliott, Environmental Educator (20 years)
- Tom Hartzell, Coordinator for Residential Programs & Environmental Educator (10 years)
- Jonathon Schramm, Professor of Sustainability & Environmental Education (10 years)
- Maria Tice, Administrative Assistant & Volunteer Coordinator
- John Mischler, Professor of Sustainability & Environmental Education (5 years)
- Ruth Mischler, Professor of Sustainability & Environmental Education (5 years)
- Marcos Stoltzfus, Director of Environmental Education Outreach (5 years)

Faculty and staff celebrate milestones | Goshen College Goshen College recognized 38 employees for milestones during their service to the college, during a celebration on Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021.

Photos from Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College's post 12/15/2021

Our Jr/Teen Indiana Master Naturalist program has been a HOOT! Students learned all about Indiana's owls at Gene Stratton-Porter State Historic Site

📸 1: What-shrew looking at? Students dissected owl pellets - the undigestible material owls regurgitate - and looked at a closeup of this shrew jaw they found.

📸 2: No, there is not an owlery at Gene Stratton-Porter, so you'll just have to mail your letter to Santa the old fashioned way and not by owl (sorry Harry). But there are 8 owls found in Indiana; can you name the 7 pictured here? (Hint: we’re missing the Long Eared Owl)

📸 3: Teamwork makes the dream work! As part of the IMN program, students must volunteer 6-12 hours. The group helped rake leaves out of the landscaped beds around Gene Stratton-Porter for volunteer hours.

12/13/2021

🥳Join us in wishing this wonderful Sustainability Leadership Semester cohort well as they embark on new adventures after completing another inspiration-filled SLS!

"One of the most inspiring aspects of this group is how they took care of each other and made room for each other’s differences and growth," remarked Joel Pontius, director of the SLS.

🥳We enjoyed celebrating their accomplishments and journeys last week, and look forward to seeing the many impacts they'll make on their respective campuses and beyond.

🥳Join us in wishing this wonderful Sustainability Leadership Semester cohort well as they embark on new adventures after completing another inspiration-filled SLS!

"One of the most inspiring aspects of this group is how they took care of each other and made room for each other’s differences and growth," remarked Joel Pontius, director of the SLS.

🥳We enjoyed celebrating their accomplishments and journeys last week, and look forward to seeing the many impacts they'll make on their respective campuses and beyond.

12/11/2021

Meet Mandira Panta, a 2018 Sustainability Leadership Semester student pursuing a master's in natural resources at University of Idaho, and get a glimpse into her takeaways from the SLS.

"A big part of SLS was learning to ask questions. As I continue with my master's and plan what I want to do in life, I am learning to ask questions. A lot of questions. Along with asking questions, I am also learning to listen, to participate, to learn, and to grow. Living at Rieth Village with a select few people, getting the time for introspection in nature, and always having the professors around encouraging us to think more is such a big privilege that not many students receive. So, everyday that I am here, I try to be intentional about my questions, about my methods of learning while appreciating the people and places around me."

#HonoringTheHeadwaters

Meet Mandira Panta, a 2018 Sustainability Leadership Semester student pursuing a master's in natural resources at University of Idaho, and get a glimpse into her takeaways from the SLS.

"A big part of SLS was learning to ask questions. As I continue with my master's and plan what I want to do in life, I am learning to ask questions. A lot of questions. Along with asking questions, I am also learning to listen, to participate, to learn, and to grow. Living at Rieth Village with a select few people, getting the time for introspection in nature, and always having the professors around encouraging us to think more is such a big privilege that not many students receive. So, everyday that I am here, I try to be intentional about my questions, about my methods of learning while appreciating the people and places around me."

#HonoringTheHeadwaters

12/10/2021

As the Sustainability Leadership Semester celebrates 10 years, we honor our alumni! Meet Mikhail Fernandes, a 2014 SLS student.

Mikhail works at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Geneva, Switzerland providing support to Ecosystem-based Disaster Risk Reduction (Eco-DRR) work at the regional, national and global level.

“Residing in Rieth Village was the best residential experience of my undergraduate years. Being immersed in a shared environment certainly contributed to the way I perceive certain things in this world. Waking up to the sounds and sight of Nature for an entire semester was a spectacle not to be missed.

“During my time at Merry Lea, I had participated in a 1-month food challenge where I only consumed locally sourced food within a 100km range. The challenge was tough…regardless, I survived and am still striving to buy and support locally sourced produce and goods whenever possible.

“I hope that more people can pro-actively take a course or programme at Merry Lea and use the lessons learned to help implement some of Merry Lea’s positive environmental ideals into a larger societal framework.”

Mikhail currently coordinates, develops and implements UNEP communication-based activities, provides greater visibility to Eco-DRR work and supports partners advancing the field of Eco-DRR.

Read more about Mikhail's work and reflections: https://www.goshen.edu/merrylea/alumni-spotlights-from-the-sustainability-leadership-semester/
#HonoringTheHeadwaters

As the Sustainability Leadership Semester celebrates 10 years, we honor our alumni! Meet Mikhail Fernandes, a 2014 SLS student.

Mikhail works at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Geneva, Switzerland providing support to Ecosystem-based Disaster Risk Reduction (Eco-DRR) work at the regional, national and global level.

“Residing in Rieth Village was the best residential experience of my undergraduate years. Being immersed in a shared environment certainly contributed to the way I perceive certain things in this world. Waking up to the sounds and sight of Nature for an entire semester was a spectacle not to be missed.

“During my time at Merry Lea, I had participated in a 1-month food challenge where I only consumed locally sourced food within a 100km range. The challenge was tough…regardless, I survived and am still striving to buy and support locally sourced produce and goods whenever possible.

“I hope that more people can pro-actively take a course or programme at Merry Lea and use the lessons learned to help implement some of Merry Lea’s positive environmental ideals into a larger societal framework.”

Mikhail currently coordinates, develops and implements UNEP communication-based activities, provides greater visibility to Eco-DRR work and supports partners advancing the field of Eco-DRR.

Read more about Mikhail's work and reflections: https://www.goshen.edu/merrylea/alumni-spotlights-from-the-sustainability-leadership-semester/
#HonoringTheHeadwaters

12/09/2021

Hear from Ben Zimmerman, a 2020 Sustainability Leadership Semester student studying Sustainability Management at Goshen College.

"One meaningful experience for me was the canoe trip. It allowed me to just get away from the typical day to day of school life and really just connect with the land, water, and people around me. It was also just very unique canoe trip for me in the fact that we just canoed our own watershed in our backyards, rather than going somewhere else to have this experience. The trip began my journey of this appreciation for the beauty here in the Midwest that I had never had before.

"One thing that I still do from SLS today is a sit spot. I love to meditate and this practice from SLS got me into a better habit of practicing it. Now, I do not have the same spot everyday, but I do try to take time everyday and just sit somewhere and just be present in the moment and take in the things around me and reflect."

#HonoringTheHeadwaters

Hear from Ben Zimmerman, a 2020 Sustainability Leadership Semester student studying Sustainability Management at Goshen College.

"One meaningful experience for me was the canoe trip. It allowed me to just get away from the typical day to day of school life and really just connect with the land, water, and people around me. It was also just very unique canoe trip for me in the fact that we just canoed our own watershed in our backyards, rather than going somewhere else to have this experience. The trip began my journey of this appreciation for the beauty here in the Midwest that I had never had before.

"One thing that I still do from SLS today is a sit spot. I love to meditate and this practice from SLS got me into a better habit of practicing it. Now, I do not have the same spot everyday, but I do try to take time everyday and just sit somewhere and just be present in the moment and take in the things around me and reflect."

#HonoringTheHeadwaters

12/08/2021

As the Sustainability Leadership Semester celebrates 10 years, we honor our alumni! Meet Benjamin Isaak-Krauß, a 2018 SLS student.

Benni is a co-pastor at Mennonite Congregation of Frankfurt in Frankfurt, Germany.

“My wife and I went to SLS through Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary. I had read a bunch about sustainability, but not in a systematic way, just whatever came across my path. SLS is a good curriculum, integrating many different sectors – natural sciences, social sciences, humanities – and the teachers were helpful at putting all these puzzle pieces I had together in a single framework.

“The SLS really set me free to incorporate ecological concerns into my ministry by introducing me to concepts and ways to bridge ecology and theology, but also simply by giving me time and permission to explore these concepts myself.

"After SLS, we were able to continue the conversation around ecology at the seminary and promote climate consciousness in the Mennonite church. We have been trying to promote watershed-framing as a locus of action here [in Germany] and have conversations with people around that. I like the framing that [a watershed] is an ecological scale where meaningful action is possible, but larger than individual action. It brings us together as individuals and preachers.”

Read more about Benni's work and reflections about the SLS: https://www.goshen.edu/merrylea/alumni-spotlights-from-the-sustainability-leadership-semester/
#HonoringTheHeadwaters

As the Sustainability Leadership Semester celebrates 10 years, we honor our alumni! Meet Benjamin Isaak-Krauß, a 2018 SLS student.

Benni is a co-pastor at Mennonite Congregation of Frankfurt in Frankfurt, Germany.

“My wife and I went to SLS through Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary. I had read a bunch about sustainability, but not in a systematic way, just whatever came across my path. SLS is a good curriculum, integrating many different sectors – natural sciences, social sciences, humanities – and the teachers were helpful at putting all these puzzle pieces I had together in a single framework.

“The SLS really set me free to incorporate ecological concerns into my ministry by introducing me to concepts and ways to bridge ecology and theology, but also simply by giving me time and permission to explore these concepts myself.

"After SLS, we were able to continue the conversation around ecology at the seminary and promote climate consciousness in the Mennonite church. We have been trying to promote watershed-framing as a locus of action here [in Germany] and have conversations with people around that. I like the framing that [a watershed] is an ecological scale where meaningful action is possible, but larger than individual action. It brings us together as individuals and preachers.”

Read more about Benni's work and reflections about the SLS: https://www.goshen.edu/merrylea/alumni-spotlights-from-the-sustainability-leadership-semester/
#HonoringTheHeadwaters

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

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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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