If you've ever visited the Blue Grass Field and Wildlife area along Boonville-New Harmony Road, just on the outside edge of Evansville, you know what a hidden gem it is. If you enjoy spending time outdoors but you've never visited, you're missing out!

The wildlife area spans more than 2500 acres of land that for 20 years was nothing more than a strip-mine. When the coal company closed its operation in 1993, the land underwent a bit of rehabilitation by way of re-vegetation. According to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources,

The area is named after Blue Grass Creek, which lies just east of the property. Amax Coal Company began mining operations in October 1973, and ceased operations in 1993. Re-vegetation was carried out using herbaceous cover and woody species planted in clumps and strips.

There are a total of 28 (former strip) pits and lakes across the area that are full of aquatic life, making for some excellent fishing. You might find yourself with any number of fish on the end of your line, including largemouth bass, crappie, catfish, muskie and bluegill. (Be sure you have a valid Indiana fishing license)

Blue Grass Field and Wildlife also permits hunting of waterfowl, turkey, deer, rabbit and quail during their respective seasons. If you prefer photography to hunting, there is no shortage of song birds, raptors, and water fowl to capture on camera. Gathering mushrooms, nuts and berries is also permitted on the land, according to Indiana DNR.

Mushrooms, berries, and nuts may be gathered, however a written permit is required to remove plants, animals, rocks and fossils.

If you're looking to get up and get moving outdoors, Blue Grass Field and Wildlife is an excellent place to visit. There is also an incredible volunteer opportunity coming up on April 10, 2021 with the Spring Cleanup Day. Volunteers will be collecting trash, pruning bushes and pulling weeds to help beautify the area. Volunteers will meet at 9am to sign in and grab trash bags.

According to Indiana DNR, volunteers do need to be 18 or older, unless they are accompanied by an adult and they advise that you will need to wear "sturdy shoes" and a mask and bring something to drink to stay hydrated. They also recommend wearing long pants, sunscreen, gloves and bug spray. If you have hand clippers or loppers, you may bring those with you from home to help with the pruning. To learn more, including how to pre-registered (recommended) visit In.gov.

[Source: In.gov]

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