- Associated Press - Sunday, May 28, 2017

MARSHALL, Ind. (AP) - A western Indiana nature lover has reached a deal with a conservation group to protect nearly 400 acres of woodlands that are home to rare and endangered plants and animals.

Joe McCurdy’s conservation easement with the Central Indiana Land Trust means the 394 acres in Parke County can never be developed.

That agreement specifies the land near Turkey Run State Park will remain in private hands and won’t be open to the public. But McMurdy says safeguarding it means “future generations can enjoy it.”

Land Trust executive director Cliff Chapman says it’s the largest single property the group has ever protected.

The tract is filled with native wildflowers, including rare trilliums that are one of Indiana’s most attractive flowering plants. The land also harbors rare birds and Eastern box turtles.

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