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Indiana University

Dunn's Woods Restoration and Education Project

Education and Outreach


Students and community members work with us to research the history and ecology of Dunn's Woods; map and remove exotic invasive plant species; restore native plant species; and produce brochures, films, and other materials to educate people about the cultural and ecological value of the woods, and the efforts being made to conserve this value.

Graduate students from SPEA E527,

Applied Ecology, measured declines in

native spring wildflower abundance

along gradients of increasing abundance

of the exotic invasive groundcover Purple

Wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei).

Service-learning Courses: We engage in service-learning partnerships with Indiana University courses from diverse disciplines, including History and Philososphy of Science, Biology, Public and Environmental Affairs, and Music.  Service-learning activities include:
  • surveys of archival records and photographs, creation of podcasts, and development of recommendations to enhance the experience of visitor's to the woods
  • learning about exotic invasive plant species and helping to conduct exotic plant pulls in the woods
  • conducting interviews, shooting footage, and creating short films on restoration activites in the woods
  • conducting mapping of exotic invasive species and quantifying native spring wildflower abundance and composition in the woods

Thanks to the following course for their efforts!

  • HPS X223, Landscapes of Learning: Environmental History of IU Bloomington (Taught by Jim Capshew)
  • COLL T200, Living a Sustainable Life (Taught by Christine Barbour)
  • BIOL L350, Environmental Biology (Taught by Peggy Schultz)
  • MUS Z120, Music in Multimedia (Taught by Kristen Bellisario)
  • SPEA E527, Applied Ecology (Taught by Mikala Schmitt-Harsh)

Other Course Affiliations:

  • L222 The City As Ecosystem (Taught by Heather Reynolds) - uses the woods as a living laboratory for carbon sequestration measurements
  • EDUC Q200 (Taught by Nicole Beeman-Cadwallader & Amy Trauth-Nare) - used Dunn’s Woods as a focus for a place-based science unit for pre-service elementary teachers

Extra-curricular Groups: Volunteeers in Sustainability, Collins LLC E-Force, SPEA Service Corps, Alpha Phi Omega, and students with the Office of Sustainability have conducted numerous pulls of Purple Wintercreeper in the woods, and helped us to plant in native wildflowers and grasses.

Film: We have installed PlantCams in the woods that shoot continuous footage of the vegetation through the seasons. Documentary film maker Sam Orr has worked with us to create short films about the value of Dunn's Woods and our work to better understand and conserve this special place. The first film, available here:, describes the history and ecology of the woods, and the heightened threats posed by exotic invasive plant species following two severe windstorms.

Brochure: We have created a brochure describing the history and ecology of Dunn's Woods and highlighting some of its cultural and natural features.


Reynolds HL. 2011. “Research and Classwork in Dunn's Woods,” to Big Ten Academic Leadership Program

Reynolds HL. 2011. “Dunn’s Woods Cultural History & Ecology,” to Indiana University B364, Summer Flora students

Capshew J, Reynolds HL. 2011. “Dunn’s Woods Cultural History & Ecology,” to IUOS Summer Interns

Bauer JT, Reynolds HL, Wells N. 2011. “Dunn’s Woods Cultural History & Restoration Project,” to Volunteers in Sustainability (ViS) at Spring Meet ‘n Greet.

Wells N, Bauer JT. 2011. “Dunn’s Woods Restoration Project,” to ViS and Alpha Phi Omega student volunteers at biweekly pulls and plantings in Spring and Summer.

Bauer JT. 2010. “Dunn’s Woods Restoration Project: Service-learning Opportunities,” to Indiana Universitystudents taking T200, Living a Sustainable Life

Bauer JT. 2010. "Exotic Invasive Species and the Dunn's Woods Restoration Projec, " to Indiana University students taking L350, Environmental Biology

Hangarter R. 2010. “Dunn’s Woods Cultural History & Restoration Project: Service-learning Opportunities,” to Z120, Music in Media students.

Reynolds HL. 2010. “Dunn’s Woods Restoration Project,” to Indiana University Well’s Scholars.

Bauer JT, Capshew J, Jacquart E, Reynolds HL. 2010. “Dunn’s Woods Restoration Project,” part of Indiana University Themester Campus Tour with Wendell Berry.

Reynolds HL. 2010. “Integrated Research, Teaching & Outreach,” to Indiana University Science Education Doctoral Student Seminar.