Why You Should Visit
Located in DeKalb and Steuben Counties, Douglas Woods was dedicated as a State Nature Preserve in 1993. Containing one of the last remaining old-growth forest stands in northeast Indiana, this preserve boasts almost 400 acres of old growth forest with the balance in a younger forest, old fields, and tillable land. The diameters of some of these truly majestic trees reach nearly four feet with canopies easily topping the 100-foot mark. Look for silver maples mingling with a variety of oak and hickory trees. Fish Creek, a high-quality stream home to several species of important fish and mussels, runs through Douglas Woods.
What The Nature Conservancy is Doing/has Done
Much of the tillable land is leased to a local farmer willing to practice conservation tillage to demonstrate to area farmers how to reduce soil loss and chemical runoff without sacrificing productivity or profits. The remainder of the old farmland is being reforested to increase habitat for woodland birds and other wildlife. Within the forest, control efforts are ongoing to eradicate garlic mustard from the site.
This work is done in partnership with the Indiana Department of Nature Preserves, Indiana Heritage Trust, Indiana University Purdue University of Fort Wayne, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.