The Beverly Shores Environmental Restoration Group is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization devoted to protecting and promoting the priceless natural environment of Beverly Shores, Indiana. Our founding mission continues to include
Control the local deer population
Protect and restore native plants
Educate the public on plants appropriate for our delicate ecosystem
We have been making great strides through our committees, and have increased significantly our collaboration with the National Park Service (NPS), the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (InDNR), and the Association of Beverly Shores Residents (ABSR), as well as other local communities and organizations. Our Board meets quarterly, coordinating the ongoing efforts of our operating committees.
The following briefly recaps the accomplishments of these committees (committee chairs in parentheses):
Deer Population Control (Tom Lane)
A decade ago, Beverly Shores was overrun by deer. A flyover census from that era counted over 600 deer in and around town. Wildflowers were decimated, leaving only invasive garlic mustard (which deer will not eat) remaining along roadsides. Homeowners incurred substantial landscaping costs as plantings of hostas and other ornamentals had to be fenced to survive. Auto collisions were not infrequent. Lyme disease, carried by deer ticks, was a real and growing risk. To deal with the deer overpopulation problem, ERG carries out ongoing deer control efforts, including the following:
Every year, working closely with the Town Council, the Town Marshal, and InDNR, we establish town regulations and procedures for archery hunting during the regular fall season. These regulations include hunter qualifications, eligible properties, a strict limit on the number of hunters in town at one time, and the maximum number of deer to be harvested. (Town regulations prohibit the discharge of firearms.)
Following these rules and regulations, we qualify hunters, oversee the hunt, and prepare reports to the Town Marshal and the InDNR.
Similarly, in coordination with the Town Council, the Town Marshal, the InDNR, and the National Park Service, we typically conduct a winter cull from the middle of January to the end of February. Although we follow much more restrictive rules and procedures than those used by the NPS for its ongoing deer cull, we are permitted to bait during this period. Whether or not the cull is conducted depends on the population determined by a flyover census the previous year and the level of environmental damage that continues to be sustained.
We commission and pay for an annual flyover census.
Since we are a pioneer in deer control, we periodically provide consulting services seeking to emulate our successful program.
Beglin Memorial Wildflower Garden (Bill Schaudt)
Continued to tend and expand our garden's more than two dozen species of native flowers. The garden is located on Broadway just south of the Town Administration Building.
Donated plants to be planted at a new garden at a school in Michigan City.
Provided advice and suggestions for organizations wishing to emulate our plantings in gardens to be located at the Town Administration Building, the Beverly Shores Depot & Museum, and the Community House.
Participated in the Beverly Shores Garden Walk, both by providing our garden and by helping to finance the program.
Invasive Species (Hans Lagoni & Bill Schaudt)
In partnership with ABSR and the NPS, continued our efforts to combat the highly invasive Tree of Heaven. We have cut or pulled thousand of these plants and have treated the stumps to prevent them from regenerating.
Met with the NPS, ABSR, Shirley Heinze Land Trust, and the Beverly Shores Park Board to establish and coordinate efforts to remove other invasive plants within Beverly Shores.
Provided volunteers to clear (under NPS supervision) invasives from a significant length of the Beverly Shores Lake Michigan coast. We expect this collaboration to continue.
Development (Larry Stanton)
Organized successful, well-attended events to maintain and grow our membership. These included both our new member event and our annual meeting.
Expanded our membership dramatically and saw, in addition, a substantial increase in donations.
Finance (Larry Stanton, Treasurer)
With increased membership revenues, donations, and the proceeds of our InDNR grant, we returned ERG to a strong financial footing, despite significant increases in funding for deer control and invasives, and our commitment to support the Beverly Shores Garden Walk.