Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Sample Chapter - McCormick's Creek State Park - Nature Center/Interpretive Naturalist Services

Nature Center/Interpretive Naturalist Services 
Sample Chapter
McCormick's Creek State Park 
Nature Center/Interpretive Naturalist Services
Located near the center of the park between Hillcrest and Redbud shelters, the Nature Center is open all year. CCC workers completed construction on the building in 1935. The Nature Center opened the next year, in 1936. It includes exhibits on natural history and is the headquarters for the entire naturalist led activities in the park. Behind the Nature Center visitors will find a self-guiding nature trail.
Visitors will find program schedules at the Nature Center or by calling 812-829-4344. Online, obtain one at this link.

McCormick's Creek Interpretive Center
250 McCormick’s Creek Park Road
Spencer, IN 47460
(812) 829-4344

Fulfilling a vision of Richard Lieber that a nature guide be provided at each Indiana State Park, Lucy Pitschler began voluntarily conducting naturalist hikes in 1923. The popularity of her hikes led to the hiring of full time naturalists at the park in 1927 at McCormick’s Creek and Clifty Falls State Park. The first youth programs began at McCormick's Creek in the 1930's. By 1941 the program had expanded to 8 state parks. Spring Mill State Park began offering cave tours in the mid 1930's. The staff offered two tours, a short one, which cost 10 cents, and a long one, that cost $1.00. 35,000 people took these tours in 1937. By 1949 Shades, Brown County, Clifty Falls, Dunes, McCormick's Creek, Pokagon, Spring Mill and Turkey Run State Parks had summer long programs while spring and fall programs took place at Dunes, Pokagon and Turkey Run.
Lucy Pitschler (c1887 - ?)
The author has been able to obtain only sketchy details about Lucy Pitschler. Apparently the daughter of Heinrich Pitschler, Lucy was probably native to Saxony, Germany. She arrived at Ellis Island in New York on October 25, 1910 when she was 23 years old. An artist and photographer, she migrated to Indianapolis. Lucy established the naturalist service at McCormick's Creek State Park. Dubbed the  "little Lady With Tennis Shoes," Lucy began conducting nature walks at McCormick's Creek State Park. The Nature Study Club of Indianapolis sponsored her activities at the park for three weeks. The following year the State of Indiana began paying Miss Pitschler for her services. Many consider her program as the beginning of the naturalist program in Indiana State Parks. The Department of Natural Resources presents the  Lucy Pitschler Award each year for outstanding naturalists in the Indiana State Park system.