Let’s Save Indianapolis’ Urban Forests!

We can and must save Indianapolis’ urban forests.

My name is Mike Oles, and I am the new Forests for Indy Director with the Indiana Forest Alliance. I hope you will get involved with this must-win campaign. 

Last year, I saw what was possible when Indy residents and the Indiana Forest Alliance saved the Eagle Creek Forest on West 86th Street from being cut down and paved over. The proposed development would have been a disaster for this environmentally critical area, which teemed with wetlands, wildlife, and even endangered bats.

Hundreds of people showed up for the fight to protect their neighborhood’s quality of life and the forest itself. At one point this past fall, it didn’t look so good when city officials approved the re-zoning. But the community never gave up. After a series of critical local news reports, the developer pulled the plug on the project at the last minute, and we saved, at least temporarily, 197 acres of our city’s best woodlands and open space.

Click here to take the Doodle Poll to find the best date for our April 2024 Launch

However, we need city leaders to save forests proactively. The City of Indianapolis must begin purchasing these essential urban forests to preserve them as nature parks, forest preserves, or greenways. In many cases, City Hall has plans to save these forests but never appropriates the funds to do so.

Every corner of Indianapolis has urban forests that must be added to our park system. These parcels–from one to hundreds of acres–create jobs, improve neighborhood safety, help stem flooding, and act as carbon sinks. They are excellent spots for biodiversity, community, and recreation. We must get our city leaders to act.

I hope you will get involved with the Forests for Indy Campaign. We have a short timeline to demand city government funding for this program for the 2025 Indianapolis City budget. Can you fill out our doodle poll to find a good time to meet in mid-April? You can click here if you’d like to.

In 2017, the Indiana Forest Alliance rallied Indianapolis residents to save Crown Hill Woods, a 15-acre urban forest home to 400-year-old trees. I brought my three daughters out to participate in that effort, and we marched with hundreds of others to ensure we preserved this ecological jewel.

Again, please fill out our Doodle poll. I will also call and text potential activists and volunteers. You can also contact me anytime at 317-281-0568.



Mike Oles

Forests for Indy Director

Indiana Forest Alliance



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