Ecosystem Restoration

Ecosystem restoration projects

We have developed a network of experimental ecosystem restoration sites throughout central Indiana that are evaluating restoration strategies for river and wetland ecosystems and investigating watershed and water quality improvement strategies. These projects have integrated active interventions, research, and education -- from serving as class projects to demonstration projects for professionals.

Recently, we have been very active in the Pleasant Run naturalization project (a collaboration with IndyParks and INDOT) and have been annually tracking a comparative restoration project at Lilly Arbor, where almost 1400 riparian trees were installed by CEES, IUPUI students, and Lilly volunteers, over 10 years ago. The Lilly Site also hosts other urban ecology and urban environment studies and serves as an occasional destination for class fieldtrips. Check out our restoration site links for more details.

We have also developed an integrated network of remote environmental sensors that are capable of actively monitoring water quality throughout area streams, reservoirs, river margins and groundwater systems in an effort to support research programs, improve our understanding of water resources and provide critical information to support environmental decision-making, water resource management, and education. If you are interested in a collaborative project, please send an email to

Restoration through service learning

In addition to our larger restoration and naturalization projects, we coordinate ongoing work on sites throughout Indianapolis with community partner organizations to provide service learning experiences for IUPUI students and, occasionally, community members. To date, we have helped coordinate and provided supervision of over 50,000 student service hours. Check out our service learning pages to learn more. Registration is currently for IUPUI students but we are integrating your organization into side-by-side experiences with our students. For more information, contact