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2020 Marsh Madness Events

The 2020 Kickoff Banquet will be held on Friday, Feb. 28th.

Saturday (Feb. 29th) events will be held at various locations in Greene County, Indiana

The schedule for 2020 has not been completed but some events are in place. Check back here periodically to see what new activities and information have been added.

Guide to the 2020 Marsh Madness Sandhill Crane Festival

Presented by the Friends of Goose Pond

Find us at: & on Facebook


Welcome to the 2020 Marsh Madness Sandhill Crane Festival. Marsh Madness is a community-based bird festival celebrating Greene County’s abundant natural resources, especially the annual spring migration of Sandhill Cranes and waterfowl to the area.

Marsh Madness has something to offer for almost everyone. There are guided bus tours, self-guided driving tours, an Arts & Crafts fair, kids’ activities, speakers and presentations, exhibitors, live birds of prey from The Dwight Chamberlain Raptor Center at Hardy Lake SRA, and live reptiles from the Wabash Valley Herpetological Society.

A festival such as this doesn’t happen without the support of the community. The planning committee wishes to thank the following for their support.


           McDonalds Restaurant of Linton

Benefits 7, Inc.

Sullivan County Community Hospital

Greene County General Hospital

Capital Planning Systems, Inc.

First Group Engineering

Crane Credit Union

   Timothy K. Meek - Edward Jones

 Welch & Cornett Funeral Homes 

Eagles Nest Camping

Goose Pond Cabins

Pleasant Grove Farm

Anderson-Poindexter Funeral Home

McHenry Homes

Mutual Bank

Mike and Jane Steward

  In addition to financial support, it takes an army of volunteers and other contributors to make Marsh Madness happen. They include:

Friends of Goose Pond       City of Linton

Sassafras and Indiana Audubon Societies   

Linton First Christian Church

Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources Div. of Fish & Wildlife

A special thanks to Linton Elks Lodge 866

for their hospitality.

Most importantly the planning committee wants to thank you, the festival attendee, for your interest and support.  We hope you enjoy the 2020Marsh Madness Sandhill Crane Festival.  Thanks again.  Enjoy your visit to Greene County Indiana.  We hope to see you again.

Marsh Madness Planning Committee

 Bus Tour Schedule (Saturday Only)

All buses arrive and depart from the East Cabin in Humphreys Park.  There will be exhibitors set up in the East Cabin. Stop in and check them out while waiting on the buses.

Bus                Departure      Return

1                     8:30               10:00

2                     9:30               11:00

3                    10:30              12:00

1                    11:00              12:30

2                    12:00              1:30

3                    1:00                2:30

1                    1:30                3:00

2                    2:00                3:30

3                    3:00                4:30

1                    3:30                5:00


 Schedule of Events

Friday February 28th, 2020

Venue: Carnegie Heritage & Arts Center

110 East Vincennes St. Linton, Indiana

Reception for Marsh Madness Featured Artist Luke Buck

2P-5P in the East Gallery.

(Exhibit will continue through March - Carnegie Hours: Wed.-Sat. 11A-3P)

Venue Linton Elks  SR 54 E.

2020 Marsh Madness Kickoff Banquet 

5:00PM                 Doors open.

Cash Bar open / Silent Auction Items Available.

5:50PM  Welcome comments – Dane Strahle

President, Friends of Goose Pond

6:00PM                 Buffet dinner line opens.

8:00PM                 Live Auction with                                      Auctioneer Brian woods.

9:00PM                 Closing remarks and                                      auction checkout

Saturday February 29th, 2020

Venue: Linton Cinema

11:00A - Goose Pond: The Story of a Wetland and Its Neighbors a film by Bill Barnes documenting the Goose Pond FWA restoration. (Admittance by wristband. These may be purchased at the theater or at the Roy Clark Bldg., Humphrey’s Park)

Venue:  Roy Clark Community Building in Humphreys Park

7:30AM – 7:00PM              Self-guided                                         driving tours (see map)

8:00AM – 4:00PM       Fish King Concessions                                 by Trent Wilkes

9:00AM – 4:00PM              Art & Craft Fair

10:00AM – 4:00PM           Live Birds of Prey                                            Program

10:00AM – 10:45AM        Hardy Lake Birds of Prey Program

10:00AM – 4:00PM           Wabash Valley Herpetological Society Live Reptile & Amphibian Display

1:00PM-1:45PM     Wonderful Whooping Cranes of Indiana

2:00PM – 2:45 PM             Hardy Lake Birds of Prey Program



Venue:  Girl Scout Cabin in Humphreys Park

11:00AM – 11:45 AM       An Owl Pellet Activity for Kids Young and Old. Amy Kearns. Join Amy for a hands-on investigation of the diet of the barn owl. Become a bio-detective as you dissect an owl pellet and identify their favorite prey.

12:00PM – 12:45 PM         Landscaping for Wildlife & Monarch Butterflies. Join Suzie Ronk and the Linton Miner Monarchs for this informative session. Learn how you to can attract wildlife and butterflies to your home.

Venue: Roy Clark Building Humphrey's Park

1:00PM – 1:45PM             Wonderful Whooping Cranes of Indiana. Melanie Cowell Outreach Specialist for the International Crane Foundation will talk about the history of the whooping crane in North America. She will also explain how and why we now see this extremely rare bird in Indiana. You will also have a chance to meet Hope the ICF's whooping crane mascot.

Venue:  East Cabin in Humphreys Park

8:30AM – 5:30PM              Bus Tours of Area (Refer to bus schedule in this guide)

Venue:  West Cabin in Humphreys Park

9:00AM – 3:00PM              Kids’ Activities, Bird House Construction. Open to kids 12 & under who are accompanied by an adult.

       2020 Marsh Madness

Presenter Biographies

Melanie Cowell. International Crane Foundation. In 2019 Melanie became the Whooping Crane Outreach Assistant in Indiana after returning from Nevada earlier in the year, where she was studying Greater Sage Grouse. She is an Ohio native and received her BS in Zoology from Ohio State University in 2018. Since 2016, she has been hiking around different parts of the U.S. to chase birds for research studies.  She also enjoys volunteering at various organizations to care for wildlife ambassadors and lead educational talks.  She hopes to start a MA program in 2020 to round out her studies, and wants to earn a full time position where she can continue researching wildlife.  During her free time, she enjoys birding, hiking and kayaking with her friends and family.

Leslie Grow – Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources.  In 2009 Leslie became the Fulltime Naturalist at Hardy Lake after spending 3.5 years as the Assistant Manager at O'Bannon Woods State Park.  After completion of her BA she worked at the Louisville Zoo as a Zookeeper until receiving the appointment of Assistant Manager with the DNR. The Dwight Chamberlain Raptor Center is the only State owned wildlife rehabilitation center. The Center was named after a longtime supporter of the rehab. His family continues to support the Lake and the Rehab Center. The Center takes in well over 150 injured or orphaned Birds of Prey each year. Much of the money supporting the Rehab center comes from our very active volunteer group, "The Friends of Hardy Lake"..

Justin Guyer – Wabash Valley Herpetological Society. Justin is the President of the Wabash Valley Herpetological Society. This organization was founded in May of 2012 in order to bring reptile breeders, hobbyists, and enthusiasts living in south eastern Illinois and south western Indiana together. The WVHS focuses on education both within the members of the group and with the community in general. They are heavily involved in educating the members of the community on the role of reptiles and amphibians in our environment as well as providing education of high standards regarding captive reptile and  amphibian  husbandry. Businesses represented within the WVHS include Guyer Genetics, Taylor Made Morphs, Artistic Morphs, and Nick Boles Reptiles.

 Amy Kearns – Assistant Nongame Bird Biologist Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources. Amy Kearns is assistant nongame bird biologist for Indiana Division of Fish & Wildlife. She enjoys poking around barn lofts looking for signs of (state endangered) Barn Owls, and puts up nest boxes to help these owls. Goose Pond FWA is one of her favorite places in the state, and you can often find her out hiking and exploring there with her husband, Noah, and their two children.



Self-driving Tour Directions

Be safe. Be aware of the other vehicles around you.

  1. Do not stop in the middle of the road. Leave room for other vehicles to pass.
  2. DO NOT pull off the side of HWY 59 unless it is into a marked parking area.
  3. Be respectful of private property. This driving tour passes through both public and private ground.  Do not go onto private property without permission.
  4. If you stop to watch some cranes in fields, it is strongly recommended that everyone remain in their vehicle. Not only is this more safe, but the cranes are much less likely to become nervous and leave the field.
  5. Be as quiet as possible. No horn honking, engine revving etc..
  6. This driving tour is on State, County and City roads. All applicable traffic laws apply.
  7. The majority of this tour is on gravel roads. You may encounter rough spots in the road.  Your vehicle will get dirty.

From the NW corner of Humphreys Park:

                Take E Street NE west approximately .7 miles to 4th Street NE

                Take 4th Street NE south approximately .25 miles to HWY 54

                Take HWY 54 west approximately .25 miles to HWY 59

Take HWY 59 south approximately 1 mile to county road 25S

Take county road 25S west approximately 2 miles to county road 1400W

Take county road 1400W south approximately 1.75 miles to county road 200S

Take county road 200S west approximately .6 miles to county road 1450W

Take county road 1450W south approximately 1.9 miles to county road 400S

Be sure to stop and check out the new Visitor Center. The office will be staffed throughout the day to answer questions.

Take county road 400S east approximately 1.5 miles to HWY 59

Take HWY 59 north approximately 3.0 miles to county road 200S

Take county road 200S east approximately 2.0 miles to county road 1000W

Take county road 1000W north approximately 1 mile to county road 100S

Take county road 100S west approximately .25 miles

Take county road 1050W north approximately 1.0 miles to Baseline Road

Take Baseline Rd. east approximately 1 mile to county road 1000W

Take county road 1000W north approximately 2 miles to SR 54. Go west to return to Linton/Humphrey’s Park.



















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