#HumCitizen: Next Indiana Campfires: Using Environmental Writing to Better Inform Hoosiers

Presented by:
Indiana Humanities
Current Initiative: Democracy and the Informed Citizen National Partner: Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Pulitzer Prizes Subject: Journalism, Other Audience: All

Building upon its Next Indiana Campfires, Indiana Humanities will use nature and literature to help Hoosiers connect to the land and discuss how to be informed and active citizens, especially relating to environmental stewardship. The council will take participants on an exploration of how the land (and writings about it) are the basis of a common Hoosier identity (across geographic, class, and other lines), and thus can create a civic body with a shared purpose of understanding. Additionally, the council will host a private trek for journalists and discuss the role of media in stewardship and conservation; sponsor a short film – created by a journalist – and publish an anthology of readings we’ve used on treks, including poems and excerpts by environmental authors.

View the announcement of the initiative here and check out the events below:

MAY 2018

Sherwood Forest Trek – Tipton County, IN – Participants will take a wildflower-filled walk through this wooded private nature preserve along Cicero Creek in Tipton County and consider how farms and forests impact life in the White River watershed.

JUNE 2018

Nonie Werbe Kraus Nature Preserve – Fishers, IN – In the midst of one of the nation’s fastest growing suburban areas, there’s a precious remnant of prairie tucked along the White River, reminding us of the ways water and land shape communities. Participants will take an evening walk, then gather around a campfire to eat, talk and watch the fireflies come out.

JULY 2018

White River/Mounds State Park – Delaware & Madison counties, IN – There’s a 2,500 acre stretch of uninterrupted woodland lining the White River as it flows through Delaware and Madison counties. During this four-hour paddling trek, participants will travel eight miles to experience the beauty and tranquility of the water while learning about efforts to conserve this vital stretch of the river via the Mounds Greenway.


Conner Prairie (Kids & Adults!) – Fishers, IN – This special trek designed for kids and families will explore how Hoosiers past and present used this important waterway and how homes, farms, and towns affect the river today. Participants should prepare to get muddy as they’ll wade into the White River to test the water and learn about plan and animal life in the watershed.

Conner Prairie (Adults) – Fishers, IN – On this adults-only trek, participants will head out over the restored prairies that first drew Native Americans and white settlers to this bend along the White River. Together, participants will consider how the water connects people to its past and to other communities in the watershed today.


Urban Wilderness Trail – Indianapolis, IN – Like the White River itself, the Urban Wilderness Trail runs through the heart of Indianapolis, providing vital places for animals and plants to thrive and people to escape the city. Participants will take a sunset hike, following the trail along the White River as they learn about hidden pockets of wildlife an dhow they are shaped by urban industries and populations.