Indiana University
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Lilly-Dickey Woods

The 550-acre Lilly-Dickey Woods is located in Brown County approximately 20 miles from the IU Bloomington campus. It was donated to Indiana University in 1942 by the Lilly family for botanical research and art studies. While there were no legal stipulations at the time of the gift, former Chancellor Herman B Wells stated that it was clearly understood by the university that the area was to be kept "natural." True to this statement, Lilly-Dickey Woods has remained a natural area and is completely undeveloped except for some trails maintained by Outdoor Education Activities, Inc., which has a long-term lease with IU to use this trail system.

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Forest Dynamics of Lilly-Dickey Woods:   We've established a 25-hectare section of Lilly-Dickey Woods as a long-term forest research area with initial plans of gaining a better understanding of natural tree regeneration dynamics and carbon storage in this old-growth chestnut oak forest. Our dataset is directly comparable to datasets of other established research forests worldwide. [Read more. >>]

Quick Facts

Driving time from campus: 25-30 min. Date Acquired by IU: Donated to IU in 1942 for use as a botanical and artisitic preserve
Nearby Public Land: Department of Natural Resources and Nature Conservancy properties Current Land Use: Natural area used as a botanical and artistic preserve; completely undeveloped except for limited trail system
Land Forms: Norman Upland physiographic region; flat-topped elongate ridgetops; rugged, highly ravined slopes; unbroken natural character of the original pre-settlement landscape.
Vegetation: Heavily forested; mature Oak-Beech-Maple forest varying with topographic position and exposure; diverse array of herbaceous species given diversity of habitats; rare species in the region include the green adder's mouth orchid, the large whorled pogonia, the trailing arbutus, and the yellowwood tree.
Geology: Harrodsburg limestone on ridgetops and Borden siltstone/shale in valleys; exposure in deep ravines; unglaciated thin soils
Access: The Lilly-Dickey Woods site is not available to the public.

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Relevant Publications
  • Clay, K., Shelton, A., and Winkle, C. 2008. Differential susceptibility of tree species to oviposition by periodical cicadas. Ecological Entomology (in press).
  • Afkhami, M.E., and Rudgers, J.A. 2008. Symbiosis lost: imperfect vertical transmission of fungal endophytes in grasses American Naturalist 172: 405-416.
  • Lindsey, A.A., Schmelz, D. V. and S. A. Nichols. 1969. Lilly-Dickey Woods. pp. 190-192 in Natural Areas in Indiana and Their Preservation. Indiana Natural Areas Survey, Lafayette, Indiana.

View more RTP-related publications

large white house
Dickey house
Bear Wallow sign
The sign reads: Bear Wallow. Many years ago when bears were common in these parts, they used this wallow to cool their hot bodies in summer. It was drained in 1913.
2 men walking trail through pawpaw trees
A patch of pawpaw trees

Revised: May 8, 2013

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