Indiana University
Research and Teaching Preserve

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Bradford Woods
Sycamore Creek
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A cooperative research and teaching area (CRTA) at Indiana University's Bradford Woods was established in June 2009. The northernmost 437 acres of the Bradford Woods property will be mutually managed by the IU Research and Teaching Preserve (RTP) and the IU School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (HPER) through its Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management (RPTS).

The preserve area is the most remote and least used portion of Bradford Woods. It offers a diverse landscape that includes eastern, western, southern, and northern facing slopes; a large perennial stream; and a contiguous block of forest with limited interior fragmentation. This site offers outstanding educational and research opportunities in ecology, forestry, geology, hydrology, limnology, anthropology, public health, and recreation.

Bradford Woods is located off State Road 67 between Martinsville and Mooresville, Indiana--southwest of Indianapolis. This positions the Bradford Woods CRTA closer to the IUPUI, DePauw, Indiana State, Ball State and Purdue University campuses than other IU RTP sites. Proximity to the Indianapolis Airport makes it an attractive opportunity for field-based teaching and research for instructors and researchers from beyond Indiana.

Bradford Woods offers lodging and dining facilities for extended field work not currently available at existing IU RTP sites. In addition, Bradford Woods has facilities capable of holding regional biological/ecological conferences with an adjacent preserve within the Organization of Biological Field Station system or other similar organizations. The many educational and outreach programs at Bradford Woods are highly valued by federal funding agencies, thus will enhance extramural fundraising activities.

Bradford Woods is Indiana's largest preserved natural area outside the state and national park systems. It is a national and international leader in outdoor education and summer camp programming. During the 1950s, Dr. Reynold Carlson and a group of students developed a master plan for "Bradford Woods" which served as a springboard for Bradford Woods activities today. The Bradford Woods staff is dedicated to ensuring stewardship of its environment and providing state-of-the-art educational programs, recreational opportunities, and professional service to youth and adults locally, nationally, and globally. Visit the Bradford Woods Web site for more details.

Quick Facts

Driving time from campus: 30-40 min. Date Acquired by IU: Given to The Trustees of Indiana University in 1939-1942 by John Bradford
Nearby Public Land: IDNR Morgan-Monroe State Forest Current Land Use: Forest reserve
Land Forms: Moderate to steep slopes, valley corridor and floor, shale bluffs, glade area, east-west running ridges feeding a north-south perennial stream.
Vegetation: Mesic forest. Mixed Central Hardwoods dominated by the Oak-Hickory Forest Type.
Geology: Surficial geology of siltstone and shale from the Early to Middle Mississippian. The forest is located near the glacial limit of the Wisconsin glacier. The property has a wide variety of soil types.
Access: The Bradford Woods CRTA site is not available to the public.

View RTP-related publications

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Tiger swallowtails

Sycamore Creek

Winter birding

Revised: July 1, 2009

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