Maple's Moments maples-moments-75

Monarch Migration Watch


Abundance of Monarch Butterflies at McCloud Nature Park

The Monarch Butterfly is back…and we couldn’t be more happy!  For the last two decades, the population of monarchs has decreased, by some reports up to 90%.  In our own Hendricks County Parks, we have seen the impact. But this summer, they seem to be making a comeback!IMG_1512

Each summer, a family program, Monarch Migration, is held at McCloud Nature Park.  Last year, monarchs were difficult to find, this year they are abundant!  We were able to tag 25 butterflies (could have done more, but we ran out of tags) for Monarch Watch to help track the migration patterns of the monarch.

The greatest number of monarchs will be passing through our Parks this week, September 14-26, as they migrate to California and Mexico.  Although these butterflies won’t return, their children will.  They will make the journey back to our area next summer and bring with them the hope of a continued resurgence of the monarch.

You can help increase the population of monarch butterflies by creating a habitat for them in your own yard.  Plant milkweed (for the caterpillars), butterfly weed, butterfly bushes and any vibrant flowers in your garden.  You can find all of these plants at our 2016 Native Plant Sale in April.

Don’t miss the monarch migration – visit one of our Hendricks County Parks this week!


Expansion Updates – Sodalis Nature Park

Progress is being made to expand Sodalis Nature Park by nearly 2,000 acres! This is a huge collaborative effort by the Indianapolis Airport Authority and the Hendricks County Park Board to give protected land back to our community! Watch for exciting developments in the coming months!

Update:  The MOU has been extended to work toward the full expansion of Sodalis in 2017!

October 16, 2016

MOU signed by the Hendricks County Park Board and the Indianapolis Airport Authority to work toward the transfer of nearly 2,000 acres of conservation land to our Hendricks County Parks! The land includes protected wetland areas that provide critical habitat for the endangered Indiana bat plus many other species of animal and plant life.  IAA and Hendricks County Park Board will meet regularly to collaborate and develop a plan for maintenance and the future use of the land.

From William Roche, superintendent for the Hendricks County Parks:  “This is an amazing opportunity with the potential to create a public park unlike any in the nation, on land already set aside for the protection of an endangered species.  If realized, this future park will serve as an outstanding resource for our community. And, the willingness of the IAA to work with the Park Board, county elected officials, and other partners to help create a community asset on this land really speaks to the caliber of their organization. They have been wonderful partners.”

Full announcement of MOU


Fall Foliage Watch 2015

McCloud Fall

Autumn has arrived in our Hendricks County ParksMcCloud, Sodalis and the Vandalia Trail! 

Our trees are expected to peak in a blaze of orange, red and yellow the second to third week of October.  Check back here to stay updated on the foliage as Fall rolls through with pictures from our Parks.

October 23, 2015 @ McCloud Nature Park – Fall foliage is peaking!  

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October 20, 2015 @ Sodalis and McCloud Nature Park – Prime leaf peeping!IMG_1916-001 - Copy IMG_1948 - Copy

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October 13, 2015 @ Vandalia Trail – Tunnel of color and a chickent!

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October 11, 2015 @ McCloud Nature Park – Color has arrived! 

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October 7, 2015 @ Sodalis Nature Park – Fog cleared this morning just in time to reveal some peeks of Fall colors at Sodalis!

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October 3, 2015 @ McCloud Nature Park – Chilly, cloudy day but the beauty of McCloud never disappoints!  Still waiting on some more color!

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September 27, 2015 @ Sodalis Nature Park – Fall color is coming!

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September 26, 2015  @ McCloud Nature Park – Just a few peaks of color today

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September 23, 2016 @ McCloud Nature Park






Introducing our new blog!

Welcome to Maple’s Moments!

Maple the Fox is the mascot for the Parks Foundation of Hendricks County.  Maple can often be found exploring our incredible Hendricks County Parks – McCloud, Sodalis and the Vandalia Trail.  Maple’s explorations will be shared on this blog as well as on Facebook and Instagram.  So please follow along!

Our first journey begins right here, on the new Parks Foundation website!  Our hope is to bring the Parks to you, so you are able to experience the wonder of our Parks and the excitement of our programs, projects and events, between your visits.  This site will also be your source for supporting our Parks.

Here are a few of my favorite places during a virtual visit:

Pictures!  An online photo gallery of us enjoying the Parks!  We post all our pictures of Parks happenings and want to post yours too.  So send us your pictures as you explore our Parks!

The Arboretum! Soon all wildlife we have a new place to roam, the Arboretum at McCloud Nature Park!  The Arboretum will provide environmental education and a venue to bring people together to enjoy and appreciate nature.  It will be a large expanse of trees, shrubs and flowers arranged in a large circle 300-feet in diameter with each of our four Indiana ecosystems represented and easily accessible.   Interpretive signage and walkways will be found throughout.  The Arboretum will be a unique natural attraction in the Midwest and a source of education and enjoyment for close to 20,000 children and adults in its first year, as well as a venue for gatherings and festivities.

Supporting our Parks! Join the community is supporting our Hendricks County Parks.  Joining our efforts to enhance and expand a natural Hendricks County is just a click away.  Donate!

Looking forward to our explorations of our Hendricks County Parks!

Native Plant Sale

Native Plant Logo

Native Plant & Tree Sale

April 16, 2016 – 9:00AM to 1:00PM

Sodalis Nature Park, Plainfield

Online Sales OPEN March 1 – Pre-order & Save!

Hendricks County is going Native with trees, plants,  and shrubs!
Natives are the perfect addition to your landscape:   
  • Thrive in Indiana soils and climate
  • Provide food and habitat for wildlife
  • Add beauty and interest in landscape
  • Help to create and preserve the biodiversity
  • Are vital part of Indiana’s natural heritage
Whether you are new to natives or a “purist,” our sale will have it all!
  • 1,000s of Native Plants and Trees – including rare varieties
    • Native Plants – 2 3/8″ pots for $4.00 each.
    • Native Trees and Shrubs  – 1-gallon pot – $30.00      3-gallon pot – $45.00
  • Plant Selection assistance by our naturalist and Hendricks County Master Gardeners
  • Expert Demonstrations at 9am, 10am, 11am and noon
  • Save .50 per plant and 20% off trees and shrubs when you pre-order online.       Pick-up is at the event on April 16.


Expert Presentation, Demonstration and Assistance

Spend the day at Sodalis Nature Park planning your spring garden with assistance of native experts.  Our naturalist and master gardeners will help you choose the plants that are right for your home.  Plants will be categorized by Woods Edge (Part-Sun), Woodland (shade), Prairie (sun), Water’s Edge, Rain Garden, and Butterfly Food.  Plant descriptions will be provided for you to take home.

9:00 AM      Why Natives? – Colletta Kosiba, Advanced Master Gardener, Advanced Indiana Master Naturalist, Honeywell Award for Horticulture, National Garden Crusader Award, feature writer and speaker

10:00 AM    Attracting Wildlife with Natives – John Chapin, Danville, local landscaper and retired teacher

11:00 AM     Native Plant Landscape Design –  Dawn Stelts, Woody’s Warehouse, native tree expert, owner Native Habitat Developers

12:oo PM      To Be Announced (but exciting!)

For more information on things to see and do in the area go to or call 800-321-9666.

Thank you North Salem State Bank for supporting this event!