2020 Year In Review

2020 was a challenging year and an amazing reminder of the importance of connecting with nature. Not even a pandemic could slow the work at Tryon Farm Institute (TFI). Thank you so much to TFI’s volunteers (board members, governing members and friends) who put in countless volunteer hours toward land restoration efforts and social distanced programming. See below for some of the highlights.

  • Acquisition of 11.1 acres of neighboring land which has substantially expanded our trail network and cherished natural spaces. Thank you to the generous donors and volunteers who made this a reality.
  • In August, the Tryon Barn, Chicken Coop, Corn Crib and the GW Bed and Breakfast house were officially entered into the National Register of Historic Places. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Register of Historic Places is the official inventory of sites with national, state or local significance in the development of our nation’s cultural heritage. This designation required substantial time and effort, so major thank you to our Barn Committee! Stay tuned for news in 2021 as we move forward in the rehabilitation of the Tryon Barn, our 128 year old cornerstone.
  • In partnership with the Indiana Wildlife Foundation (IWF), IWF has certified TFI’s 5k trail as Certified Sustainable after meeting rigorous specifications. IWF also assisted TFI with the creation of five striking education signs you will find around the front of the property. We are looking forward to working with IWF annually on new projects.
  • Tryon Arts, a program of Tryon Farm Institute, celebrates nature and inspires understanding and stewardship of the environment through the power of the arts. Thank you to the Indiana Arts Commission, South Shore Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts for their continued support. Here are some program highlights from 2020:
    • 2020 featured a film series that included The Living Green documentary, The Biggest Little Farm and family favorite Hamilton, all projected on the Tryon Barn with the support of projection artist Liviu Passare.
    • Precious Jennings, fabric artist, returned for the second year to continue her research project Aligning the Fibers of Self. https://preciousjennings.com/Research-1
    • Kristina Isabelle spearheaded two filmed projects this year. In July, Isabelle, along with videographer Jenai Cutcher and cellist Wilson Tanner Smith, created a live stream Quarantine Concert for the Experimental Sound Station concert series exploring the interior and exterior environments of home and self. Guest appearance by Ginger the red heeler.  http://www.kristinaisabelledance.com/ess-quarantine-concert
    • Isabelle and hammered dulcimer player, Mark Grobner, filmed a mini concert in the barn that will be live streamed this winter. 
  • TFI was awarded a three year partnership and grant funding from the USDA to convert 5 acres of hay fields into diverse pollinator habitat. Conversion work has already started and will continue over the next 3 years. The birds, bees and bugs are counting on us.
  • Our Natural Resources Management team was busy with monthly work days, removing invasive plants, improving trails, tree and shrub planting days, prairie seed collection and building benches/bridges/tables.
  • We installed an amazing mushroom garden with the assistance of I’m A FunGi, Justin Sule.
  • We doubled the size of the pollinator garden at the farm entrance. The new plants flourished this year with many dedicated weeders and waterers.
  • While our planned fundraising events this year (Granor Farm Dinner & Emita Cruise) were sidelined due to Covid-19, our team has been busy keeping our members notified on the good work continuing at TFI. One of our beloved Tryon residents donated beautiful new marketing pieces for TFI. Look for them in the map kiosk near the barn.

Tryon Farm Institute is completely volunteer run, with 100% of donations going towards land preservation and education. None of this is possible without our supporters. If you would like to help support future endeavors, please visit our website, http://www.TFInstitute.org/giving to make a tax deductible contribution.  You can also send a check to: Tryon Farm Institute, 88 Tryon Farm Lane, Michigan City, IN 46360

                              We look forward to seeing you around the Farm!     

About TryonFarmInstitute

Tryon Farm Institute, Inc. (TFI) is an Indiana chartered non-profit land trust and education organization with a mission to connect human and natural communities by promoting habitat diversity and sustainable land husbandry.


  1. Carole J Stodder

    Are your trails open to the general public?

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