Who We Are

The Friends are a group of people who love Turkey Run and Shades State Parks.  We collectively groan when a favorite tree is destroyed by a wind storm, cried real tears when the Earth Day flood took out the swinging bridge and were elated to discover a cairn in a ravine at Shades.  We welcome the blue bells, seek out butterflies and pick up trash as we hike the trails.

Friends of Turkey Run and Shades State Parks are a group of nature lovers who are passionate about the resources of these State Parks. Each person who has become part of the Friends joined us because he or she had a very strong connection with some aspect of Turkey Run or Shades State Parks.  However, due to the individual passions, organizing us is much like herding a bunch of cats.

Karen knows everything under the sun about plants in the wild, their healing properties, their growth patterns, the soil they like and almost anything else that you want to know.  Another knowledgeable partner with a passion for native plants as landscaping materials and the preservation of heirloom varieties plays an important role; maintaining a library of information for eradication and management of invasive species.  Beata, the third member of our plant Queendom, cajoles and corrals workers to plant and maintain the amazing Heritage Garden at the Lusk Home.

Or take Greg, for example, who loves butterflies and the preservation of habitat for endangered species.  Or Fred who loves the peaceful beauty of nature and will go out on a moment's notice to work on the trails or to hack out, once again, the bush honeysuckle creeping back into the area behind the Nature Center.  Then there is Alan who can listen and identify any bird within earshot and probably get one that hadn't even chirped yet to chime in to the background.

Each of these people, and others, have so much knowledge and history within Turkey Run and Shades that they are each a natural resource in their own right.  Our Friends group is an amazing organization with several bookshelves worth of knowledge and several hearts full of passion for the natural resources contained within the Parks' borders and in the Sugar Creek basin generally.

We would be honored to have you join us and contribute your humor, your energy and your interest in preserving public spaces.