Winter - Friends of McCormick`s Creek State Park



Winter - Friends of McCormick`s Creek State Park
Friends of McCormick’s Creek State Park
Winter 2015
oard M
David Gohn
[email protected]
The mission of the Friends of McCormick’s Creek State Park, Inc.
is to develop and support projects and events that help preserve,
restore, manage and interpret the natural and cultural heritage and
recreational opportunities of McCormick’s Creek State Park.
ur newest Board Member
and Vice President Dennis
Goen really fires things up!
Joining the Friends of McCormick’s
Creek only about two years ago, he
became active immediately jumping
into researching fire tower history,
restoration and possible funding;
rebuilding 30 bluebird nest boxes,
cleaning up the accessible trail near
the Nature Center, and helping at
several special events.
When I asked Dennis what
projects interest him the most, he
quickly said the Fire Tower
Restoration Project. He has a long
history with fire towers,
remembering helping a cousin when
he was only about nine years old at a
tower in Jackson-Washington State
Forest (near his hometown in
southeast Indiana), and dreaming of
being a smoke jumper. Several years
later, landing a job with the Morgan
Monroe State Forest with the Indiana
Department of Conservation (later to
be known as the DNR) when he was
19 years old, he worked in the fire
tower there during the spring and fall
fire seasons. The year was 1964. He
recalled it was a particularly dry
season and he monitored one fire
spotted from the fire tower for about
three days, taking readings using
special instruments and giving daily
reports. After those exciting two
years with the Forest Service, Dennis
continued his passion for fire safety
as a volunteer firefighter in
Ellettsville and later joined the team
at the Bloomington Fire Department
for over 38 years.
Continued on page 2…
Vice President
Dennis Goen
[email protected]
Colleen Minnemeyer
[email protected]
Barbara Filtri
[email protected]
Newsletter Editors
Colleen Minnemeyer
Andrea Oeding
John Harder
812-339-9049 [email protected]
BBQ and Blues
he 6th annual BBQ and Blues
festival was held on Saturday,
September 6th. This event
draws people from all over Indiana and
surrounding states. It doesn’t get much
better than the smell of BBQ in the air,
live blues music, friendly faces, and the
beautiful backdrop of our favorite State
Park. The classic car show was once
again a companion to the BBQ and
For the second year in a row now, visitors
were able to pop over to the Redbud
Shelter across the road from the festival
and enjoy BBQ catered by the Canyon
Inn. This secluded setting was a great
spot to sip a glass of wine (also served by
the Canyon Inn) underneath the
towering canopy while listening to the
music just across the way. Mark your
calendars for September 12, 2015, you
won’t want to miss this year!
It was inspiring to talk to Dennis and learn a little more
about his past. I hope you also have the chance to
spark a conversation with him! More details will be
coming soon about the Fire Tower Restoration project.
Until then check out this cool video that Marc Evans
filmed introducing the project (link on our Facebook
page and here)
v=vSmmEQBjk8Y& -AO
Please join us on the 2nd Tuesday of each month
at the Nature Center at 6:00 pm for our monthly
meeting. Enjoy pot-luck style snacks, great
friendships, and a special guest speaker or
activity. Hope to see you there!
Do you have a favorite story from your time spent
at McCormick’s Creek? Did you attend a Friends
event and have some great photographs? We
would love to include personal stories and
pictures in our next newsletter. Please email any
photos or stories to
[email protected]
Past meeting minutes can be found at
Visitors to Fall-o-ween Weekend on October 24 and 25,
2014 were introduced to insects in a fun and memorable
way! The Friday evening program- Sipping, Sticking,
Scything, and Sucking on Six Legs- presented by Sandy
and Jeff Belth, naturalist and author of Butterflies of
Indiana: A Field Guide, gave visitors scientific knowledge
of some of our most unusual insects.
On Saturday, after traditional Fall-o-Ween activities (milk
jug skeletons, pumpkin carving, trick or treating and
costume contests) Friends group members dressed as giant
insects and put on a very creepy/crawly interpretation of
“It’s a Bugs’ World” on the annual haunted trail! At the
start of the trail, visitors were ‘shrunk’ to pea size by
imagination, then sent on the path to be greeted by many
previously unnoticed creatures; including: an Emerald
Ash Borer, computer bug, Scorpion and a fly, Giant
caterpillar, Killer Bees, and a giant spider! This event
takes an immeasurable amount of hours by many staff
and volunteers and each year it just keeps getting more
fun! It’s always a chance to laugh and go a little bit out of
your comfort zone, meet new people, and enjoy the crisp
fall days at the end of a busy season. Thank you all that
made the 2014 Fall-o-ween such a great success! Stay
tuned for more information on our next haunted trail
theme and how you can help!
Bluebird Monitoring
Do you have an interest in being a bluebird nest
box monitor at McCormick’s Creek State Park?
Please contact Andrea at
[email protected] to learn more.
Some highlights of the program:
-Monitors are scheduled about 3 or 4
times between the months of March and August.
-Enjoy hiking and be prepared for a 3-mile
hike on moderate terrain.
-You will learn how to identify the nests of
common secondary cavity nesters like bluebirds,
chickadees, house wrens, and tree swallows.
-You will see the life cycle of a bird first
hand as we count the number of eggs and
fledglings in each of the 36 nest boxes.
-We do more than monitor! As you hike
the same trail throughout three seasons, you
notice changes, patterns, and cycles that give you
a deep appreciation for the land. You become a
conservation steward, telling more people about
your experiences and cultivating a passion for
nature in others.
Trail Talk: Emerald Ash Borer
ost of you have probably
heard of the Emerald Ash
Borer, the exotic beetle
native to eastern Asia that was
discovered in southeastern Michigan
and identified in July 2002. Larvae
feed in the phloem and outer
sapwood, the water and nutrient
conducting tissues under the bark, of
ash trees (Fraxinus sp.) producing
galleries or passageways that
eventually girdle and kill branches
and entire trees. In heavily infested
trees, one-third to one-half of the
branches may die in one year. On
April 21, 2004, Emerald Ash Borer
was confirmed in Indiana and
recently confirmed in McCormick’s
Creek State Park. This small ½ inch
long beetle can fly short distances but
most new infestations occur by the
transportation of firewood and logs
outside of quarantined areas. This
pest is a serious problem. It is
considered the most destructive forest
pest ever seen in North America.
Learn more at or stop by
the Nature Center to talk to a
naturalist and pick up new brochures
and identification guides.
Since the discovery of EAB
inside McCormick’s Creek S.P. in
December, Park Management has
decided to cut down the ash trees
that pose a threat to recreational
areas now, while saw crews are
already in the park cutting the Tulip
Trees that were damaged from the
drought and scale in 2011-2012.
Once the EAB is confirmed in an
area, it’s not “if ” the other ash trees
around will get infested, it’s “when”.
Having the trees cut now as opposed
to after the EAB causes damage
means that the logs will be able to be
sold at a higher price at auction. It
will also prevent having to go back
into places like the campground year
after year to remove dead trees that
pose a threat to campsites and
EAB in larval form
’S’ shaped feeding gallery
B loop of Campground
V i si t o r A ppr e c ia ti o n N i g ht
The second annual Visitor Appreciation Night was a great success. On
October 18th, 2014, park guests were treated to a complimentary meal of
hotdogs, BBQ beans, chips and drinks provided by Babbs Supervalu. The turnout was excellent despite the chilly temperatures and impending rain. The
final concert of the summer concert series (High Sierra) was moved from the
Amphitheater to inside the Canyon Inn because of the inclement weather.
Thank you to Friends members who volunteered to cook and serve food to the
guests: David Gohn, Andrea Oeding, Grant and Colleen Minnemeyer, and Earl
Nichols. Thank you also to the park staff, Sam Arthur and Will Schaust who
brought supplies and helped set up the event. A great time was had by all.
Fri en d s M ee t in g T i d b i t s
November: Election
We said goodbye to Al Tinsley as President
and welcomed David Gohn into that
position. Dennis Goen was elected as Vice
President. Both Barbara Filtri and Colleen
Minnemeyer remained Treasurer and
Secretary, respectively. The positions of
Secretary and Treasurer will be up for
election in November of 2015.
Amphibian Outing
Saturday, March 21st, 2015
December: Annual Holiday Party
Great food and good cheer were in
abundance at this year’s Holiday Party! A
large crowd of Friends members and park
staff gathered at McCormick’s Friendly
Shelter, a fitting place for such a merry
group of people. I can’t speak for
everyone else, but a highlight for me was
the early indulgence of many different
holiday cookies!
Each year, gifts are exchanged through an
official White Elephant game. If you
have never participated in a White
Elephant exchange before, this is the
place to start! No one holds back in
stealing and the gifts vary from original
art prints, and handmade jewelry to a
unique rope light chandelier, Hello Kitty
accessories, and mind teaser games!
Hope you can make it next year!
Winter 2015
Connie McCain, Paula Brooks, and Vicki Basman
show off the Hello Kitty lights that were received in
the White Elephant Exchange
January: Park Update from
Property Manager, Dwight Brooks
Many changes happening at the park.
Highlights include:
1. Emerald Ash Borer has been confirmed
in the park. See Trail Talk on page 4 for
more information.
2. New assistant property manager, Lynda
Ellington. New waste water treatment
plant operator, Bill Dizer.
3. Looking forward to the bicentennial and
going ahead with the Fire Tower
Restoration Project.
March: Friends membership vote on
proposed $5,000 donation from the Friends
general account to the Fire Tower
Restoration Fund. Andrea Oeding to
present bluebird program.
April: Katrina Folsom, Communications
Director at Sycamore Land Trust will be
here to discuss the Beanblossom Creek
Bicentennial Conservation Project.
May: Stay tuned…
11:00am - 10:00pm
Join amphibian enthusiast, Barbara Filtri,
for a fun family day with something for
everyone. See events and locations in
the box to the left. Invasive Plant Pull
Saturday, March 28th, 2015
10:00am, Meet at Maple Grove Shelter
Help park staff manually control invasive
plant species in the White River/
McCormick’s Creek Valley. Wildflower Weekend &
Plant Sale
Saturday and Sunday, April 11th &
12th, 2015
Many hikes throughout the park to view
the budding wildflowers will be led by
experts. Check the Friends website or
Contact Sam Arthur for more
information. Warm fire and gift opening
Amphibian Outing
Did you know there are 22 species of
Salamanders in the State of Indiana? You seldom see
one – they spend most of their lives in hiding, but at
the first hint of spring they come out to celebrate
Nature’s awakening.
Members of the Hoosier Herpetological
Society (HHS) will be at the park to share their
knowledge about these elusive creatures and guide
us on the quest to find them.
10:30am - Amphibian Triathlon - Canyon Inn Front Lawn 1:00pm - Live amphibians by HHS - Nature Center Program Room
2:30pm - Hike to the Creek to find critters - Meet at Canyon Inn
4:30pm - Craft: salamander bead key chains - Canyon Inn Lobby
8:00pm - Experience what amphibians do at night - Carpool from Canyon Inn
5k Run/Walk & 1 Mile
Fun Run
Saturday, April 25th
Registration starts at 7:30am
Race begins at 8:30am in front of the
Nature Center
The annual partnership with the Owen
County Family YMCA and the Friends is
upon us again. Come out to cheer on
the runners and walkers, volunteer at
one of the spots out on the course, or
register to compete! For more
information, contact Laura Gentry at
o t he r ne ws
First Day Hike and Photo Contest
Next Friends Meetings:
Tuesday March 10, 2015
Tuesday April 14, 2015
Tuesday May 12, 2015
There were a record number of people that gathered together for the annual First Day
Hike on January 1st 2015. Sixty-eight hikers armed with cameras set forth down Trail 3,
one of McCormick’s Creek’s most popular trails, to take a glimpse of the falls and
experience winter in the canyon. It was a beautiful day to reconnect with friends and
make new ones. New this year, was a partnership with the Canyon Inn who supplied
cookies, bars, hot cider, coffee, and hot chocolate for the hikers upon their return. We
want to thank Randy Rhyne, manager of the Canyon Inn, for providing the treats and
warm hospitality. Pictured here are the winners of the photography contest. Gary
Alsip won the “winter postcard” category (top left) and Colleen Minnemeyer won
“spirit of the day” (bottom right).
New Members
Welcome new members!
• Lynn Cartee
• Joseph Dresher
• Randy Gardner
• Douglas & Susan Gulick
• Al & Julie Kamarauskas
• Susan Smith
• Nancy White
Friends of McCormick’s Creek State Park
PO Box 483, Spencer, IN 47460
We’re still going green!
If you would like to
receive this newsletter
via email in full-color,
please email
[email protected] Thank you for
your cooperation.

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