Baber Woods Nature Preserve
Location and Access:
From Kansas at jct. Hwys. 16 & 49, take blacktop road south 4.5 mi. to gravel road, then turn and go east 1.7 mi., then turn and go northeast 0.3 mi. The nature preserve is east of the road.
Baber Woods is a remnant of the dry-mesic oak-hickory and sugar maple forests once common in the Grand Prairie Natural Division. The area is considered to be one of the best remaining examples of its type, and it is the only preserved remnant of the Shelbyville Moraine forest in eastern Illinois. The Baber family originally purchased the property in 1835 and by 1894 had acquired the entire forest. The family used the woods conservatively, and the only cleared area was a 3 acre lot for cabins. The woods have been virtually undisturbed since then. Because of this lack of disturbance, over 210 plant species from 72 families exist here, including 22 overstory tree species. White oak and hickories are dominant, while sugar maple characterizes the moister northwest and western sections. In addition, the area supports a rich diversity of wildflowers and ferns.
Ownership: The Nature Conservancy
Dedicated: September 1974
Size: 59 acres
Topo Map: Westfield East 7.5
For Further Information Contact: The Nature Conservancy, 8 South Michigan Avenue, Suite 900, Chicago, IL 60603 (312/346-8166)
1/2009 - R. Heidorn