Outdoor briefs for June 22, 2016

DNR unveils mobile Trail Finder app

Want to find a trail nearby to hike, bike or ride a horse or ATV on? The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has an app for that.

The app allows users to find state, federal and private trails open to the public, based on surface type and intended use.

Users can tap trails to find more information, such as segment length, total trail length, surface type and contact information for the public or private entity that manages the trail.

Users also can pan and zoom around a map that covers the entire state, or search for a location — such as by state park — or a trail name, or find trails near a specific address.

If GPS is enabled on the user’s device, they can also search for trails near their current location.

The app is at dnr.in.gov/outdoor/4240.htm.

Geocache challenge happening in state parks

As part of centennial celebrations of Indiana’s state parks, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources is hosting the Centennial Geocache Challenge, which spans all state parks and ends Sunday, Oct. 30.

Geocachers can compete for prizes including a 2017 Annual Entrance Permit, a $50 camping gift card to state parks, a $50 DNR Inns gift card, a $25 gift card to Cabela’s and Indiana State Parks centennial coins.

Geocachers will use a “passport” — a bingo-style scorecard available at INStateParks100.com — to track their progress. Each passport has 25 squares stamped with property-specific stamps to show the user has found the geocache at one of 33 state parks.

Geocachers can submit their passport by mailing or emailing it to the DNR address on the passport by Sunday, Nov. 6.

The scorecard for the challenge can be downloaded at in.gov/dnr/parklake/files/sp-2016centennialgeocaching.pdf.

More information about geocaching on DNR properties can be found at geocaching.dnr.in.gov.

DNR’s five-year outdoor recreation plan available

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources’ outdoor recreation plan for 2016-2020 is available online and through request on computer CD from the DNR.

The plan is required for the DNR to be eligible for the federally funded Land and Water Conservation Fund, which the DNR uses to create grants for park boards at the county and municipal level, according to a press release.

It includes results of surveys that looked at the needs and preferred recreational uses of Hoosiers. The 138-page plan also includes information on available public acreage and ecosystems, such as wetlands.

The plan identifies a need for “close to home” recreation for Hoosiers, citing growing poverty statewide and wage stagnation as reasons residents are seeking inexpensive, nearby entertainment options.

It can be viewed at in.gov/dnr/outdoor/4201.htm. CDs can be ordered by contacting Greg Beilfuss at gbeilfuss@dnr.in.gov or 317-232-4071.

Native plant stewardship class offered

The Brown County Native Woodlands Project is hosting a native plant stewardship class, which covers conservation of native plants and controlling non-native plants.

The six-part series began June 15; however, anyone can still attend individual classes for $5 per class, said organizer Allison Rubeck.

The remaining class dates are all on Wednesday evenings from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Dates are June 29, July 13 and 27, and Aug. 10 and 24.

Anyone attending all of the remaining five classes will be able to take the final exam and become certified as a Native Plant Steward, making them eligible to join the Brown County Native Woodlands Project, Rubeck said.

Contact Rubeck at 812-988-2211 or brown@iaswcd.org to inquire about class space.