The following was shared with the Bloomingtonian:
September 2023 E-Newsletter
- Upgrades coming to Paynetown SRA
- Beaches Closing for the Season; Activity Center Switching to Fall Hours
- Daily Activities at Monroe Lake
- Flora Field Days, Sept. 5 & Oct. 3
- Salt Creek Valley History Week, Sept. 11-17
- Explore Monroe Paddling Trips, Sept. 17 & 19
- Northfork Habitat Hike, Sept. 24
- Stillwater Levee Walk, Sept. 24
- The Amazing Magician Jerry, Sept. 30 & Oct. 14
- Upcoming Virtual Programs
- Virtual Program Collection: View on demand!
Upgrades coming to Paynetown SRA
We’re excited to announce several upgrades coming to Paynetown SRA this summer and fall! Contractors have already started work on the following projects:
- Replacement of Comfort Station #1 in the electric campground.
- Installation of two additional pump-outs at the campground dump station.
- Rehab of the sewer systems for the campground, Beach House/Activity Center, and marina.
- Replacement of the large culverts underneath the entrance road.
Work on these projects is expected to be completed in early December. During the construction period, you may encounter traffic delays on the SRA entrance road and temporary facility closures. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause, but these are much-needed projects that will greatly benefit our property in the long term.
Beaches closing for the season; Activity Center switching to fall hours
Our swimming beaches at both Paynetown and Fairfax SRAs will close for the season after Labor Day; the adjacent beach houses will close for the season at the same time. The Activity Center at Paynetown SRA will switch to fall operating hours beginning on Aug. 19; the building will be open from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays from Aug. 19 through Oct. 29. All other facilities at Paynetown and Fairfax SRAs remain on their current operating schedule through the end of October.
Daily Activities at Monroe Lake
We offer all kinds of scheduled programs, crafts, games, hikes, and more that you won’t find mentioned in this e-newsletter. If you’re planning a visit to Monroe Lake, make sure you check our complete activity list on the Monroe Lake Online Calendar. The posted schedule is currently complete through Sept. 30.
Flora Field Days, Sept. 5 and Oct. 3 at 9:30 a.m.
Want to work on your flora identification skills? Practice with a naturalist! Field day emphasis is on the proper use and application of an ID key, which opens the door to identifying thousands of species. The naturalist will work with each attendee based on their prior experience. If you’ve never worked with flower ID before, this is a great way to learn. If you have prior experience, this is a fun way to practice your skills (and maybe add some new blooms to your life list!). The 2-hr sessions are free (gate entrance fees may apply, depending on location) and are recommended for ages 12 and up.
- Tuesday, Sept. 5 (Allens Creek SRA): Sign up at bit.ly/florafield-sep2023 by Sept. 2. *No registration limit
- Tuesday, Oct. 3 (Underwood Parcel): Sign up at bit.ly/florafield-oct2023 by Oct. 1. *No registration limit
Salt Creek Valley History Week, Sept. 11-17
Salt Creek Valley History Week is our annual dive into the stories, families, and locations of Salt Creek Valley pre-1960. This year’s event is presented by Monroe Lake, Brown County State Park, and the Hoosier National Forest. The FULL schedule of presentations, hikes, and other presentations is at bit.ly/scv-history2023.
Here are the programs which have limited space and/or require advance registration:
- Tuesday, Sept. 12 at 10 a.m., Silas Chandler Cemetery Tour: Limited to 15 people. Sign up at bit.ly/scv2023-silas by noon on Sept. 9. *10 spots available
- Wednesday, Sept. 13 at 10 a.m., Chandler #1 Cemetery Hike: Limited to 15 people. Sign up at bit.ly/scv2023-chandler by Sept. 11. *8 spots available
- Wednesday, Sept. 13 at 1 p.m., History of the Deam: Limited to 20 people. Sign up at bit.ly/scv2023-deam by noon on Sept. 12. *11 spots available
- Saturday, Sept. 16 at 2:30 p.m., Friendship Baptist Church Hike: Limited to 15 people. Sign up at bit.ly/scv2023-friendship by Sept. 14. *11 spots available
- Sunday, Sept. 17 at 2 p.m., The Lands that Nobody Wanted: Sign up at bit.ly/scv2023-lands by noon on Sept. 15. *No registration limit
Explore Monroe Paddling Trips, Sept. 17 and 19
Explore the quieter side of Monroe Lake during these guided paddling trips that journey through backwaters, wetlands, bays, and/or slow-moving streams. Trips highlight beautiful views, hidden wildlife, aquatic plants, and unique land features. Find your new favorite place to kayak! $10 per person trip fee. Each trip is limited to 10 people, ages 16 and up only. All participants must have at least two hours of prior paddling experience OR have completed one of our beginner kayaking workshops. Bring your own canoe/kayak or rent a kayak from us for an additional $20. Most trips are about two hours.
- Sunday, Sept. 17 at 5:30 p.m. (Allens Creek SRA): Sign up at bit.ly/explore-sep17-2023 by Sept. 13. *FULL, wait list available at registration link
- Tuesday, Sept. 19 at 9 a.m. (Northfork of Salt Creek): Sign up at bit.ly/explore-sep19-2023 by Sept. 14. *FULL, wait list available at registration link
Northfork Habitat Hike, Sept. 24 at 9:30 a.m. (Northfork Waterfowl Resting Area)
Learn more about wildlife management at Monroe Lake, as we check out fields, ponds, and seasonal wetlands in our Northfork Waterfowl Resting Area on this 2-hour hike! Limited to 15 people, recommended for adults. Sign up at bit.ly/northfork2023 by Sept. 22. *3 spots available
Stillwater Levee Walk, Sept. 24 at 1 p.m. (Stillwater Marsh)
Join us for a 2-hour hike along the levees of Stillwater Marsh to learn how Monroe Lake manages this area with wildlife in mind! We’ll explore the crops planted for wildlife food, check out the nesting boxes, see where (and how) the marsh gets flooded each year to create a seasonal wetland and explore the types of trees, plants, and animals that live here. Limited to 20 people, recommended for adults. Sign up at bit.ly/stillwater2023 by Sept. 22. *15 spots available
The Amazing Magician Jerry, Sept. 30 & Oct. 14 (Paynetown SRA)
The Amazing Magician Jerry is coming! You better be watching closely, because you are not going to believe your eyes as he shares magical feats with you… watch coins appear and disappear, ropes change lengths right in front of your eyes, and cards rise up out of the deck on their own. All this and more await you! Magician Jerry will perform a wide variety of magic, both new techniques and classical effects, in 10-to-15-minute sets on repeat at the Campground Playground. He will perform from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30, and from 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14.
Upcoming Virtual Programs
- Friday, Aug. 25 at 9:30 a.m., Sunflowers and Goldenrods: Two of the most iconic flowers of late summer and fall in Indiana are the sunflowers and goldenrods. But these flowers aren’t just beautiful! Join Monroe Lake naturalist Jill Vance for an exploration of their natural and cultural history. Watch us live at bit.ly/fblive-monroe-aug2023
- Monday, Sept. 11 at 9:30 a.m., The Mormons Come to Salt Creek Township: In the 1890s, citizens of Salt Creek Township in Monroe County were abuzz with news and rumors about a group of Mormon elders who were going from house to house to “speak their strange religion to the people.” Converts included many members of the prominent Chandler and Sexton families, including some whom later left the county due to the intolerant attitudes of their neighbors. Jill Vance, Monroe Lake’s interpretive naturalist, will discuss this interesting period in the history of the Salt Creek Valley, using contemporary newspaper reports, government records, and family stories. Watch us live at bit.ly/fblive-sep2023