Friends of Goose Pond provide major contributions

Column by Brandon Butler

Goose Pond is one of Indiana’s most unique and beautiful Fish and Wildlife Areas. Located just south of Linton, the 9,018 acres of wetland and prairie habitat was purchased by the DNR in October of 2005. It has since become a popular outdoor destination for a variety of Hoosiers. Nature lovers and sportsmen collectively reap the benefits of this unique and vast property.

Hunters have the opportunity to pursue waterfowl, quail, rabbit, dove, turkey, squirrel and deer at Goose Pond. There are numerous bodies of water for fishermen to explore. Bird watchers flock to the property by the thousands each year to view interesting and rare birds. Over 260 bird species have been documented at Goose Pond.

Years ago, quite a bit of buzz was created in the birding world when a Roseate Spoonbill visited Goose Pond. It was the first confirmed sighting of the species in Indiana. No one knows where the bird came from, or where it went, but Roseate Spoonbills are normally found along the Gulf Coast and down into South America.

Sometimes, tax dollars do not stretch far enough to support a property to the tune it deserves. Thankfully, citizens step up from time to time. One group who certainly supports a property its members are passionate about is Friends of Goose Pond. They recently donated $60,000 to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources for interpretive displays at Goose Pond.

The organization’s mission statement is: “Friends of Goose Pond (FoGP) supports wildlife conservation and habitat restoration at Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area in Greene County, Indiana through environmental education, scientific research and recreational activities and programs.”

According to a DNR press release, Travis Stoelting, Goose Pond property manager, said “Friends of Goose Pond is a long-time supporter of the property. Their donation toward interpretive displays will help visitors learn about the property and its management. The Division of Fish & Wildlife is very grateful for their contribution and for our continued partnership with Friends of Goose Pond.”

The DNR will use the significant gift to develop educational exhibits in the property’s visitor center to showcase the history, wildlife, and management of Goose Pond.

Each year, Friends of Goose Pond hosts a community birding festival called Marsh Madness. According to the organization’s website, Marsh Madness celebrates Greene County’s abundant natural resources, especially the annual spring migration of Sandhill Cranes and waterfowl to the area. The event includes guided bus tours, self-guided driving tours, an arts and crafts fair, activities for children, speakers and presentations, exhibitors, live birds of prey and live reptiles. The 2020 event takes place February 28 and 29. For more information about the Friends of Goose Pond FWA, visit friendsofgoosepond.org.

Goose Pond is divided into numerous sections. Each is worth exploring. It may take a little back road driving to find the section of Goose Pond you are looking for, but signs mark each parking area so visitors can be sure they are in the right place.

If you are looking for a new property to explore or you’re a Goose Pond regular, this Fish and Wildlife Area is one worth spending time at. There is always something to do and there’s always new part of the property to explore. There might not be a better place in the state to combine outdoor passions and watch birds while catching fish.

Maps of Goose Pond are available at the property office located at RR1 Box 431, Linton, Indiana 47441. Parking areas are marked with a (P).

See you down the trail…




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