Harris Prairie Cemetery Restoration Work Scheduled

A comprehensive restoration project is scheduled to begin in August 2015.

Grave markers including foot stones will be cleaned, reset and repaired as needed.

During this work, access to plots may be restricted.  All vegetation, decorations and other items are subject to temporary and permanent removal.

Restoration at Salem Cemetery is planned for later this year.

If you have questions, or would like to bring anything to the attention of the township, please contact us.

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Cemetery visitors – important notice

Shrubs, trees and flowers that grow near a headstone will likely damage it.   Please work with us to protect your loved one’s resting place.  Contact us, and we’ll work with you.

Take a look at the photo.  Not only does weather impact headstones, but the plant you see growing could be quickly become a problem.  We know that a small rose bush or evergreen planted today might seem to honor the deceased, but that won’t be the case in ten years.  So please, think before you plant.

Plans are being made for restoration efforts at the two cemeteries maintained by Harris Township.  As part of the effort, vegetation and decorations will be removed.  If you visit the cemetery, we’d much rather work with you before that time arrives.  Please contact the Trustee for more information.

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Granger Community Church (is) 4Michiana

Volunteers from Granger Community Church (GCC) recently spread playground mulch, built bird boxes, and planted trees at Harris Township Park as part of their ongoing 4Michiana campaign to serve local community organizations.  Check out the program at their web site gccwired.com, or navigate there via our Partners page.

Dozens of wonderful volunteers gave their Saturday morning this spring to improve the park.  We are very grateful!  Special thanks to Jeanna, Cassie, Dale, Jon and Shelly.

Come to the park this summer to check out the softer play’ground’, and in 20 years to admire the walnut trees bordering the toll road.

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Bluebird!

It took until June, but a bluebird was spotted at Harris Township Park. It is nesting in a bluebird box that was installed earlier this year.

Thanks again to the Audubon Society, and specifically Laura Fuderer who took these pictures on June 19th. Interested in seeing wildlife up close? Volunteer.

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The Birds of Harris Township Park

Laura Fuderer, Conservation Chair of the South Bend – Elkhart Audubon Society, has been keeping track of the birds frequenting Harris Township Park.

Here is the list of birds spotted at Harris Township Park:

  1. Canada Goose
  2. Wood Duck (a pair)
  3. Mallard
  4. Turkey
  5. Red-tailed Hawk
  6. Killdeer (confirmed nesting)
  7. Gull species (Ring-billed?)
  8. Mourning Dove
  9. Northern Flicker
  10. Eastern Kingbird
  11. Blue Jay
  12. American Crow
  13. American Robin
  14. European Starling
  15. Chipping Sparrow
  16. Song Sparrow
  17. Northern Cardinal
  18. Red-winged Blackbird
  19. Common Grackle
  20. House Finch
  21. Cedar Waxwing
  22. Rose-Breasted Grosbeak
  23. Eastern Towhee
  24. Bluebird (breeding)
  25. House Sparrow
  26. Baltimore Oriole (breeding)
  27. Gray Catbird
  28. Brown-headed Cowbird
  29. Green Heron
  30. Horned Larks
  31. Barn Swallows

This list will be updated ongoing!  (last update from 7/26/2015 visit)

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100 Trees Planted at Harris Township Park

Thanks to volunteers, including from Granger Community Church, over 100 trees were recently planted at Harris Township Park.

The trees, mostly saplings, were obtained from the Soil and Water Conservation District of St. Joseph County.

Walnut trees now border the southern end of the park, along the Indiana Toll Road.
A variety of fruit trees were planted along the western edge of the park, along Gast Ditch and near the bluebird boxes that were installed earlier in the year.

Thanks to all those who helped.  If you’re interested in planting trees, we’ll do it again so let us know you’d like to help – then plan on driving by with a loved one in 20 years to show off the much taller results your work!

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Thanks, Soil Solutions of Elkhart!

When the playground needed mulch, Soil Solutions of Elkhart was there to provide it.

Thank you, Soil Solutions, for the high quality playground mulch delivered to Harris Township Park. Drivers skillfully maneuvered their semi trucks to lay it right near where it would be spread.

The donation is much appreciated, and the mulch will be put to good use by all those who swing, slide, and otherwise play at the township’s large playground.  Thanks too, to the Penn Lacrosse Club for your support of Harris Township Park, on Brummitt Road in Granger.

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Making Room For the American Kestrel and Screech-Owl at Harris Township Park

Harris Township Park, or HTP, became a little more bird-friendly on April 28th of 2015 when volunteers from the local Audubon Society and Boy Scouts installed two, very tall bird boxes. A new home intended for an American Kestrel (in the falcon family) was installed in the southeast corner of the park, near the toll road. A new home intended for a Screech-Owl was installed in the woods, just off the entry driveway.

Earlier in 2015, while snow was still on the ground, the welcome mat was rolled out for bluebirds with the installation of 8 boxes along the western border of the park, along Gast Ditch.

Once the new tenants move in, we’ll try to capture them in pictures.

The South Bend-Elkhart Audubon Society is a great partner of the township, lending their expertise, time and energy to make our green spaces more wildlife friendly. Thanks to Bob L., who not only installed the boxes but built the cool poles on which they mount – such that they can be checked once a year. Thanks to Laura F., who is leading the effort to monitor the activity at the bluebird boxes, and who performs periodic bird counts. If you’re interested in birds, contact the township for ways to get involved. It’s free and fun!

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