Highland Bat Sanctuary
323-acre Highland Bat Sanctuary just south of Hillsboro and the South Fork of Rocky Fork Creek
AOA purchased four properties that conserved 665 acres as part of our bat protection initiative. The 323-acre Highland Bat Sanctuary was acquired from the Roberts Family Trust as part of a collaboration with ODOT and EnviroScience to conserve habitat for rare bats. These bats included the endangered Indiana bat which was identified on the Roberts property.
The Roberts property is in Highland County just south of Hillsboro and the South Fork of Rocky Fork Creek. The property includes a combination of mature forest and new prairie and includes over 15,000 linear feet of primary headwater streams.
Stewardship work on the Roberts property in 2021 included planting 150 acres of prairie grass-wildflower habitat and 9 acres of trees by AOA.
Two nearby properties were also acquired to expand the bat habitat protected in the Highland Bat Sanctuary, a 75-acre parcel from the Miller family and an adjacent 62-acre parcel from the Garman family. These properties include a mix of forest and prairie habitats and nearly 1.2 miles of riparian corridor along the South Fork of Rocky Fork Creek.
Stewardship work on these two properties by AOA has included invasives removal, tree planting to help re-establish the original forest cover, and restoration to native prairie.