Aukiki Wetland Conservation Area
State Road 49, Wheatfield, IN 46392
Phone: (219) 285-2184
This 650-acre parcel, donated by NiSource, conserves a mix of wetlands, black oak barrens, and sand prairie, offering wildlife viewing, hiking, and hunting. Now jointly owned by The Nature Conservancy and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Aukiki is part of the Indiana Grand Kankakee Marsh Restoration Project. The Grand Kankakee Marsh was one of the largest freshwater wetland complexes in the United States, encompassing 500,000 acres in eight counties. To restore the land, staff and volunteers have manually removed much of the woody understory to reduce canopy cover, and have reintroduced fire through prescribed burns to restore oak barrens and prairie habitat. DNR and Ducks Unlimited have partnered to restore wetland areas to provide breeding and migration habitat for waterfowl along the Kankakee River, and have converted 200 acres of former farm land to grasses to improve wildlife habitat. This site has limited amenities but is a good place to wander and explore. Aukiki is open to hunting. Call (219) 843-4841 to get information on hunting seasons and precautions to take.