5 minute read

Nature in Bloomington

From Dunn Meadow to Monroe Lake:

Sites to see all around Bloomington

A tree blossoms April 22, 2020, at Griff y Lake. Griff ey Lake off ers fi shing, hiking and boating.


Need to get outdoors and catch a breath of fresh air? Check out these spots.

By Alex Hardgrave


Griff y Lake Nature Preserve

A less than 10-minute drive from Memorial Stadium, Griff y Lake Nature Preserve off ers numerous hiking trails, beautiful views and fi shing. Starting in April, you can rent a canoe to go out on the lake. To plan your day there, visit the City of Bloomington website.

Monroe Lake

A bit farther from campus is a more than 100-mile-long lake, Monroe Lake. Around the area, there is everything from camping, hiking, swimming and boating rentals. Renting a boat and driving around with some friends on the lake is the perfect way to spend a warm weekend just outside of Bloomington. If you’re looking for beautiful views or somewhere to watch the sunrise, the Cutouts — found off of Valley Mission Road in Bloomington — look onto Monroe Lake and are the perfect place for a scenic sunrise or sunset. More information for Monroe Lake can be found on the Indiana Department of Natu-

Biology Building Greenhouse

Located on Third Street, the Biology Building Greenhouse is the perfect place on campus to escape among plants. It’s free and open to the public, offering both guided tours or time to walk around by yourself. The greenhouse is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. and Thursdays from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The greenhouse is closed on weekends.

Dunn Meadow

The large grassy area that runs along Indiana Avenue and Seventh Street is an ideal place to meet up with friends and have a picnic or kick around a ball. You can even hang up a hammock near the Campus River, which runs through the meadow.

McCormick’s Creek State Park

Located in Spencer, Indiana, about 15 miles from the city, McCormick’s Creek State Park offers a must-do hike to a beautiful waterfall. The trails have different severities and lengths, so even the most novice of hikers can enjoy themselves here. To better plan your visit, go to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources website.

Hickory Ridge Fire Tower

This iconic fire tower offers amazing views and pictures at the top, and it’s only about 40 minutes away from the Sample Gates. It’s a bucket-list activity for your time in Bloomington, for sure. The tower is located in Hoosier National Forest and is a great place for a camping trip for the weekend, with the tower as one of the stops. To get more information about the tower, visit the United States Forest Service website. To learn more about everything Hoosier National Forest offers, visit the forest website.

Eskenazi Museum exhibits thousands of artworks from across the world

By Tory Basile

vlbasile@iu.edu | @torybasilee

The IU Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art is one of the largest university art museums in the country, with almost 45,000 pieces of art spanning across time periods and cultures, according to its website.

In 1941, IU president Herman B Wells and head of the IU art department Henry Radford Hope first envisioned developing a collection of art for the university. The two began to personally collect pieces for IU and seek out donors for their collection, which eventually grew large enough for them to construct the museum.

The building, which officially opened in 1982, was designed by internationally renowned architect I.M. Pei. The modern glass structure is reminiscent of Pei’s famous works, namely the glass pyramid at the Louvre in Paris and the East Building of the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.

After the museum received a record donation of $15 million by Indianapolis philanthropists Sidney and Lois Eskenazi, the then-Indiana University Art Museum was renamed to honor the couple. It was the largest gift in the museum’s history, according to its website.

Eskenazi Director of Creative Services Mariah Keller said as a teaching museum, Eskenazi offers several educational outreach programs, including Pre-K through 12th grade art classes, art therapy, an art making studio and public programs like Bloomington’s First Thursdays.

The museum is organized by the various world cultures it displays, Keller said. The museum’s first floor includes both European and American art. The second floor features Asian, Islamic and Ancient art collections. On the third floor is the African, Oceanian and Indigenous American art gallery. A media gallery on the same floor features digital artwork.

There are over 22,000 paper artworks housed in the museum’s Center for Prints, Drawing and Photographs, some of which are displayed in rotating exhibitions. Keller said anyone can request to see a specific print when they visit.

Eskenazi houses both a Monet and Picasso painting, a pair of Roman portrait busts and an ancient jewelry collection, Keller said. She said her favorite piece in the museum is an impressionist painting by French artist Gustave Caillebotte, “The Yerres, Effect of Rain,” which depicts a green river being gently rippled by raindrops.

Since the museum displays works from different cultures and viewpoints, Keller said she thinks it’s essential people take the opportunity to visit and learn.

“It’s a teaching museum with many spaces for learning and interacting with art,” Keller said. “We believe that the best way to enrich a life is to learn about works of art in person.”


Above Visitors explore exhibits Nov. 7, 2019, at the Eskenazi Museum of Art. Left The Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art is pictured on Sept. 9, 2021, located at 1133 E. Seventh St.