2018-05-16 / Front Page

Activities in the DePauw Nature Park

DePauw Nature Park News


Henry the Superdog needs a power nap sometimes, then he’s back to his mascot responsibilities! (Courtesy Photo) Henry the Superdog needs a power nap sometimes, then he’s back to his mascot responsibilities! (Courtesy Photo) We are occasionally asked, “What do you do in the Nature Park?”

We patrol the trails every day using the gator (a John Deere not an alligator). There are over 10 miles of trails in the Nature Park.

We greet visitors and answer questions. We estimate that over 80,000 people visit the Nature Park each year.

We remind visitors of the park rules. No swimming, boating, or fishing in the quarry pond. No rock climbing, hunting, ATVs, or horseback riding. Stay on the gravel trails and keep pets on a leash at all times. Do not collect rocks, plants, animals, or fungi in the park.

We host groups from local grade schools for field trips, and conduct research with DePauw students. We also host community groups such as the Master Gardeners, 4H Extension Club, Big Walnut Bird Club, and Putnam County Beekeepers.

We set up a 5K course in the Nature Park for a variety of events, including Little Five, Relay for Life, Earth Day, and the Humane Society.

We grow plants in the greenhouses at the Field Station for the Campus Farm.

We check and maintain nest boxes. This year, we have 10 nest boxes that are being used by Eastern bluebirds and Carolina chickadees.

We spend a lot of time removing non-native and invasive plant species along the trails, including honeysuckle, multiflora rose, and garlic mustard. Our goal is to restore natural ecological conditions in the Nature Park.

Brad and Bruce are the part-time groundskeepers in the park. They cut the grass, maintain the trails, empty the trash cans, and greet visitors. We are very grateful for their help!

(by Vanessa Fox, Nature Park Ecologist and Part-time professor of University Studies at DePauw)

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