Photo Credit: Louis J. Tenney

The watershed of Lake Monroe is situated in a beautiful place that is known and loved by many Hoosiers for its rolling hills and spectacular views. With Indiana being a mostly flat and glaciated state, the land surrounding Lake Monroe is a welcome reprieve for the millions of people who visit each year.

Cool shaded forests provide relief from the summer heat. Vibrant fall colors are among the best in the nation. In the springtime, wildflowers awaken us from our winter slumber. This landscape has connected countless people to the land, inspired many artists, and provided a rare glimpse into both natural and cultural history that might have been forgotten. The special way of life found in the Lake Monroe watershed, especially in the forested areas, is deeply tied to the land and its beauty.

While many generations of Hoosiers treasure the area around Lake Monroe for the recreation, enjoyment, and inspiration they have found there, few understand its true ecological significance.

The Brown County portion of the watershed includes one of the largest remaining intact forest blocks in the lower Midwest. With nearly 90% forest cover, Brown County has – by far – the highest concentration of forested land of any of Indiana’s 92 counties.

The region represents a stronghold for rare plants and wildlife species that depend on large forested tracts. For example, the yellowwood tree is only found in one place in Indiana – Brown County, and orchids, such as yellow lady slippers and puttyroot, thrive in its moist, shaded hollows.

Box turtles, whose habitat is decling throughout the northern half of Indiana, still find refuge in these intact forest habitats.

And perhaps most importantly, tens of thousands of songbirds, including species such as Cerulean Warblers, Acadian Flycatchers, Yellow-billed Cuckoos and Scarlet Tanagers migrate from South America every year to use the forests surrounding Lake Monroe and especially in Brown County during our summer. Their home away from home in the rolling hills around Lake Monroe cannot be replicated or replaced.

Make A Difference For Lake Monroe

Consider A Donation To The Water Fund