Sugar Creek Trash Clean-up

On the gloriously fine morning of 16 September Greg Oskay, Brenda Brown, Aaron Douglas, Brooke Karle, and Alan Bruner met at the Turkey Run Canoe Rental in preparation for a morning of picking up trash via canoe along Sugar Creek through Turkey Run St. Park. This was a project of the Friends of Turkey Run and Shades St. Parks organized by Greg. The canoes and transportation were provided by Turkey Run Canoe Rental. We began at the Narrow’s Bridge and ended at the Cox Ford Bridge – a three mile trip.

The weather was near perfect with clear skies and comfortable temperatures. Creek level was low but only required dragging the canoes through shallow waters one time. Alan and Brenda teamed up as did Aaron and Brooke, while Greg manned a canoe that served as our trash barge. We were able to slowly drift along, stopping to walk the many gravel bars in search of trash – and we did find some! When it was all over we recovered the following:

1 truck tire

2 car tires

  1. tree stand used by deer hunters

7-8 sandals

5 shoe insoles

  1. air horn (aerosol can)
  1. large piece of carpet
  1. long braided rope

5+ beer bottles

5+ beer or cola cans

10+ plastic water bottles

  1. plastic inflatable swimming pool

and a variety of cords, ties, paper, styrofoam, wrappers, etc.

We couldn’t have picked a better day and the feedback from canoers observing us was very positive. Many thanked us for our work which gave us a chance to promote the Friends of Turkey Run and Shades St. Parks. In addition, a photographer from Outdoor Indiana magazine photographed us from the suspension bridge and at the end of our run. The photos may accompany an article expected to be in the January issue and will give our organization additional publicity.

Many thanks to Greg for organizing the activity, Turkey Run Canoe Rental for donating the canoes and transportation, and Brenda, Aaron, and Brooke for taking time out from busy schedules to clean our treasured Sugar Creek.

Alan Bruner


Friends of Turkey Run and Shades St. Parks

Save our Ash Trees!




New campaign targets pests wiping out native tree species

INDIANAPOLIS—The campaign lends itself to winks and jest ("Your ash is in trouble;" "Prepare to kiss your ash goodbye.") But advocates are quite serious about fighting the emerald ash borer, an invasive insect that has killed tens of millions of ash trees since it first came to the U.S. in 2002. As of March 2017, EAB has been documented in all 92 counties in Indiana. Without aggressive action, experts say, 95% of all Indiana ash trees will be lost within 10 years.

The Save our Ash Trees campaign calls on Hoosiers to help treat species that once composed 15-20% of our Indiana forests. The campaign is a joint effort of the Indiana Parks Alliance (IPA) and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources' divisions of State Parks and Nature Preserves.

“$200 can treat an ash tree for up to three years,” said Indiana Parks Alliance president Tom Hohman. “Any contribution helps, and 100% of every donation supports the Save our Ash Trees program. Ash trees are native Indiana trees that play a critical role in our woodlands.” The campaign’s goal is to raise $20,000 to treat 100 mature, seed-producing ash trees in Indiana state parks and nature preserves. Individuals or organizations wishing to help or get more information can visit the IPA website( or Facebook page (


What is an emerald ash borer?
The emerald ash borer is an exotic beetle, originally from Asia, that was first discovered in Michigan in 2002 and in Indiana in 2004. This invasive insect is 1/3 inch in length and bright, metallic green in color. The adult lays eggs only in ash trees. Emerald ash borers in the U.S. have no predators during their larval stage.

How do they kill ash trees?
Larvae feed on the inner bark of the tree, creating tunnels that circle the trunk and cut off the flow of water and nutrients from roots to leaves. Leaves in the top third of the tree die first, and then the damage moves down to lower branches.

Why should we care?
Ash trees make up 10-20% of the diversity of tree species in our Hoosier forests, totaling about 147 million trees. Another two million grace city parks, residential lawns and street plantings. Ash wood is used for furniture, flooring, cabinets, hockey and lacrosse sticks, baseball bats, urban street plantings, and Native American traditional baskets, pipe stems, flutes and medicinal remedies.

To maintain a remnant population of ash trees in Indiana, we must save mature, seed-producing specimens to create a future seed source of EAB-resistant ash trees. These trees are native species to our Indiana forests and the introduction of EAB is a man-made disaster, not a natural one. It is up to us to preserve these native species so they may repopulate after the killing wave of EAB has passed.

The chestnut blight of the late 19th century and the Dutch elm disease in the mid-20th century virtually eliminated those two species from our woodlands and streetscapes. We have the opportunity to keep that from happening again with our native ashes.

What’s the treatment?
A special insecticide is injected into holes drilled near ground level and kills emerald ash borers as it’s drawn upward. The insecticide used in this program (Emamectin benzoate) is safe for pollinators like honey bees (not a neonicotinoid). Save our Ash Trees! will focus on areas of the state that have not already been decimated by the emerald ash borer.

How bad is the problem?
Millions of mature ash trees have already been killed in Indiana, and the mortality rate is expected to hit 95% in the next decade. Projected economic losses to urban forests are estimated to be $10-20 billion. The U.S. Forest Service projects that all eight billion ash trees in American forests will die off unless protected against the emerald ash borer.

About the Indiana Parks Alliance
The Indiana Parks Alliance is a charitable organization that supports Indiana State Parks and state-owned Nature Preserves, the resources they steward, and the people they serve through education, advocacy, promotion, fundraising and assistance for local friends groups.

Upcoming Friends Activities

We Need Your Help!

The Friends of Turkey Run and Shades St. Parks have some needed projects planned and we need your help. We can’t do them without you!

16 September 2017

Morning – Trash pick-up via canoe along Sugar Creek from the Narrow’s Bridge to Cox Ford Bridge. We need more volunteers to fill the canoes donated by Turkey Run Canoes.This is less than two weeks away.

Please contact Alan Bruner, Chair of Friends of Turkey Run and Shades St. Parks, as soon as possible if you can help and enjoy a day on the creek. 765-562-2741 or

Afternoon – Invasives eradication and miscellaneous clean-up projects. Up to 60 volunteers from Circle K International, a college organization, have offered their services, but we need some experienced Friends members to assist in heading up small groups to cover areas in need of invasive removal/clean-up in both Turkey Run and Shades St. Parks.

Please contact Aaron Douglas, head Interpretive Naturalist at Turkey Run as soon as possible if you can assist. 765-597-2654 or

30 September 2017

National Public Lands Day – 10 am to 1:00 pm. Volunteers needs for eradication/clean-up projects. Participants will meet at the Turkey Run Nature Center to be assigned areas for invasive eradication/clean-up.

Please consider participating in one or more of these projects.

***18 November 2017

On the “fun” side we have scheduled a field trip for 18 November 2017. This will be a full day trip and we will go to the Nature Conservancy’s Kankakee Sands property in Newton County to see the herd of American Bison released on the restored prairie there, followed by a visit to Jasper-Pulaski FWA to admire the thousands of Sandhill Cranes that stage there annually before heading further south for the winter. So set the date. We hope you can join us for this!

Thank you for your continued support of the Friends. We appreciate all you contribute whether it be monetarily or physically.

If you have any questions please let me know.

Alan W. Bruner


Friends of Turkey Run and Shades St. Parks.