ISU’s criminology students to kick-off reforestation, pathways projects at Sheriffs’ Youth Ranch on April 30

TERRE HAUTE – – Lambda Alpha Epsilon, the criminology student organization at Indiana State University, will use Arbor Day, April 30, to kick-off their efforts to reforest and build paths at the new Indiana Sheriffs’ Youth Ranch in nearby Clay County.

Vigo County Sheriff John Plasse

“LAE members are partnering with sheriffs and deputies in designing a network of hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails at our 62-acre not-for-profit youth training academy now under development about 20 minutes east of ISU,” said Vigo County Sheriff John Plasse, an ISYR trustee. “These aspiring law enforcement executives are also helping us by heightening awareness and raising funds for our reforestation project, so future generations of middle school, high school, and college students can more fully enjoy the facilities and lakes of our rolling, wooded property.”

“Trees and Trails for Tomorrow,” the fraternity’s project, is being led this semester by LAE’s President Nicole Babcock of Oak Forest, Ill.; LAE’s President Nicole Babcock of Oak Forest, Ill.; Vice President Jada Jones-Martin, Aurora, Ill.; Secretary Carla Morales, Downers Grove, Ill.; and Treasurer Christian Walker, Greenwood, Ind.

“About a dozen ISU students will be engaged with our first Youth Ranch projects on Arbor Day,” said J. Tyler Burns, senior instructor and academic advisor to LAE. “We hope our ‘Trails and Trees’ community projects begin a long-term partnership with Indiana’s sheriffs, chiefs, and fire service – all of whom utilize the Youth Ranch property for K-9 search-and-rescue, dive, drone, equestrian, and other training when not in use by Indiana youth.”

Help “Trees & Trails” for Tomorrow

  • $5 will fund a planting soil kit
  • $10 will fund six fertilizer spikes
  • $25 will fund one 2-foot Thuja Green Giant
  • $50 will fund one 4-foot American Red Maple
  • $100 will fund one 4-foot Eastern White Pine$250 will fund two 4-foot Blue Spruces
  • $500 will fund five 5-foot River Birches
  • $1,000 will fund six 7-foot Weeping Willows
Putnam County Sheriff Scott Stockton

ISYR is a non-profit charitable training retreat for future law enforcement officers, at-risk kids, young witnesses, and victims of crime, said Putnam County Sheriff Scott Stockton. “When fully developed, our Youth Ranch will offer weeklong leadership camps for teens from across Indiana. Groups like LAE could provide us cadres of counselors to mentor teens about first aid, personal safety, substance abuse, bullying, and cybercrimes. These ISU students could also be ideal to introduce young campers to safe ATV and horseback riding, ziplining, canoeing, swimming, fishing, hiking, and other activities.”

ISU is recognized among America’s universities and colleges for public service volunteerism, LAE’s Babcock said.

“We see ‘Trees and Trails’ as a way for our members to give forward not only to ISYR’s young leaders but to future criminology majors at ISU as well. Our goals are to help out and look out for others. After all, that’s what public safety should be all about.

Former Marion County Sheriff John Layton, ISYR’s founder, and president, said to donate or request more information on “Trees and Trails for Tomorrow,” call 317-460-4242, email or write to the Indiana Sheriffs’ Youth Ranch, 5325 N. State Road 59, Brazil, IN 47834.

Plasse, Stockton, and Layton serve on an all-volunteer board that directs the development and operation of the Youth Ranch. Other ISYR board members include Allen County Sheriff David Gladieux, Bartholomew County Sheriff Matt Myers, Cass County Sheriff Ed Schroder, Clay County Sheriff Paul Harden, Boone County Sheriff Mike Nielsen, Clark County Sheriff Jamey Noel, Grant County Sheriff Reggie Nevels, La Porte County Sheriff John Boyd, and Ripley County Sheriff Jeff Cumberworth.

Southern Indiana business leader John Jones, owner, and operator of John Jones Auto Group was recently named to ISYR’s board. Jones is a strong supporter of the Youth Ranch and public safety.