Sierran Masthead

Sprawl Costs All Throughout Indiana, New Report Says

A new report released by Sierra Club Midwest Office in Madison, Wisconsin, addresses the insidious destruction caused by sprawl in Indiana and throughout the entire Midwest.

Sprawl Causes Congestion, Pollution, and More
Sprawl, defined as haphazard growth, has destroyed farmland, wetlands, and forests in the state. According to the report, Northwest Indianašs Porter County is losing 1,000 acres per year to sprawl development, which brings with it traffic congestion, displaced farm families, soaring property taxes, and air and water pollution. Increased flooding is a threat as sprawl gobbles up wetlands in Hamilton and Marion Counties in the Indianapolis area and in Lake and Porter Counties in Northwest Indiana.

I-69 Highway Would Destroy Over 1,000 Acres of Forest
The report cites the proposed I- 69 highway between Indianapolis and Evansville as the "poster child" of a war against sprawl. "The highway would destroy more than 1,000 acres of forest," states the report. "It would cut through sensitive limestone karst terrain, threatening to pollute underground drinking water systems and harming rare species that live there. It would slash through the heart of the newly established Patoka National Wildlife Refuge." Other "Indiana sprawl Facts" in the report are that the state has the second most threatened farmland in the country and has lost 87 percent of its wetlands.

Reports Urges Both Personal and Political Action
The report urges Club members to stop supporting sprawling malls, shop in your neighborhood, carpool, and live near your workplace. It recommends that you ask public officials to evaluate the real cost of sprawl developments, support Environmental Impact Studies on proposed sprawl, stop tax breaks for sprawl-creating companies, and put the brakes on unneeded highways.

Part of National Sierra Club Campaign
The Sprawl Costs Us All Campaign is a national campaign of the Sierra Club. The Hoosier Chapter is considering ways to bring the issue to the attention of residents and elected officials around the state. For more information or to help, call the Chapter office at (317) 466-9992.


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Winter 1996-1997