The Department of Natural Resources announced Thursday the establishment of the Next Level Conservation Trust, a program which will acquire property that will become part of the public trust and be protected for future generations of Hoosiers to use and enjoy. 

The state will initially invest $25 million in the program, which is an extension of the Bicentennial Nature Trust program and will incorporate elements from the President Benjamin Harrison Conservation Trust.

“The Next Level Conservation Trust will continue the DNR’s legacy of preserving Indiana’s rich natural heritage,” said DNR Director Dan Bortner. “Outstanding natural features, unique habitats, significant historical and archeological sites, and areas for conservation, restoration, and recreation will be protected for Hoosiers today and for future generations.”

An additional 25 percent of funding will come through a private funding match program. 

Property protected under NLCT will be open to the public. The program is flexible to allow local ownership and management of acquired properties through a conservation easement.

Additional information on the program can be found at