Funding assistance from the Bicentennial Nature Trust has helped the Department of Natural Resources expand Splinter Ridge Fish & Wildlife Area in Jefferson County.

The 77-acre addition to Splinter Ridge features upland forest covering several steep hills and is about 2 miles from the Ohio River near Brooksburg.

The DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife Game Bird Habitat Restoration Fund, the National Wild Turkey Federation and Quail Forever contributed to the purchase of the Splinter Ridge expansion. The Jefferson Board of Commissioners and the Community Foundation of Madison & Jefferson County endorsed the project.

 The Splinter Ridge addition is the third Bicentennial Nature Trust (BNT) project in Jefferson County. BNT previously assisted with the purchase of a 10-acre addition to Clifty Falls State Park and a 5-acre expansion of the Heritage Trail Conservancy Park on Madison's riverfront. 

The trust is a project of the Bicentennial Commission, co-chaired by former Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman and former U.S. Representative Lee Hamilton. The statewide program is aimed at expanding trails, conservation areas and recreation sites to help celebrate Indiana's 200 years of statehood in 2016. The state park system was created during Indiana's centennial celebration in 1916.

An initial $20 million in state funding was obligated for trust projects, and the Lilly Endowment donated another $10 million to the effort. Money from the fund is matched no less than $1:1 with the local community or group sponsor. To date, the Bicentennial Commission has approved 71 projects, and 28 have been completed for a total of 4,123 acres.

The trust is seeking additional private donations of land and money as well as input from communities on viable projects. Applications for the Nature Trust can be found at

For more information on the Bicentennial Commission, visit