Berry Woods Preserve.
Iowa Berry Woods Preserve Berry Woods Preserve. © Lauren Nickell

Places We Protect

Iowa

Berry Woods

Berry Woods is The Nature Conservancy's first preserve in Iowa.

Berry Woods was the first preserve owned by the Conservancy in Iowa. It continues to be a great example of central high oak woodland.

Why You Should Visit

Berry Woods is a high-quality mature white oak, red oak, basswood and shagbark hickory woodland that is home to many wildflowers and fungi. Gorgeous wildflower displays in the spring and fall make the site popular for photographers.

Location

4.5 miles northwest of Indianola in Warren County

Why the Conservancy Selected This Site

Berry Woods is the Iowa Chapter’s first preserve. Don L. Berry, the late newspaper publisher and conservationist, deeded this woodland to the Conservancy in 1961 as a memorial to his grandfather and father who had owned and protected the woods for nearly a century. The preserve was dedicated as a biological State Preserve in 1980.

What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing

In addition to the conservation work here, the preserve serves as an outdoor classroom and laboratory for Simpson College biology classes.

What to See: Plants 

Common trees at Berry Woods include white oak, red oak, basswood and shagbark hickory. Other plants to see here are wild ginger, spring beauty, Dutchman’s breeches, toothwort, white trout-lily, showy orchis, wild geranium, liverleaf, false rue anemone, Indian pipe, ironwood, bloodroot and bellwort.

What to See: Animals 

There are many birds, such as the ruby-throated hummingbird, eastern wood pewee, catbird, northern oriole, red-headed woodpecker, black-capped chickadee, cardinal, white-breasted nuthatch, house wren and American robin. Other animals include opossum, eastern cottontail and eastern chipmunk.

Preserve Visitation Guidelines