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When Beman and Bertie Dawes founded The Dawes Arboretum in 1929, habitat restoration was a high priority. Working with the Department of Forestry at the time, the Dawes family established “forestry plots” and in doing so began a tradition of habitat restoration at The Arboretum that continues today.

Reforestation

The Dawes Arboretum is working with Ohio University and the Ohio Chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation to restore American chestnut trees in Ohio’s forests. This type of reforestation activity combined with managing mature woodlands ensures quality timber resources and protects critical woodland habitats that serve as homes for many threatened species.

In addition to the American Chestnuts, we planted a plot of white pine and pit/lob pines on our East Side and nearly 6,000 trees in the area of our Red Barn.  The Red Barn Area plantings include:

  • American beech
  • black cherry
  • sugar maple
  • burr oak
  • swamp white oak
  • white oak
  • tulip poplar
  • arrowwood viburnum
  • river birch

Wetlands

Wetlands provide critical habitat to numerous wildlife and plant species. In fact, more wildlife utilize wetland ecosystems than any other ecosystem. Acting as a sponge, wetlands aid in the recharging of ground water by filtering out harmful pollutants, trapping sediments and storing water during rain events to prevent downstream flooding. Wetlands play a major role in The Arboretum’s goal of land stewardship allowing for better utilization and management of rainwater.

The Arboretum has nine wetlands comprising permanently and perenially wet wetlands.  Below is a list of these wetlands:

  • Dutch Fork – 30 acres
  • Bur Oak – 5 acres
  • Red Barn Area – 3.5 acres
  • Black Duck – 2 acres
  • Red Maple Woods – 1.5 acres
  • Martin Farm – 1 acre
  • Cypress Swamp – .25 acres
  • Dove Woods – .25 acres
  • Artesian Spring – .25 acres

Grasslands

Warm season grassland habitats established at The Arboretum provide homes to native flora and fauna. We have 71.5 acres planted in warm season grasses and prairie forbs and an additional 65+ acres in field and meadow areas. These managed “grasslands” offer a unique opportunity for visitors to experience life in a tall grass prairie. Managed primarily with prescribed fire, these unique plant communities also provide a source of seed for future restoration opportunities.