Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve


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    Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve is a 240-acre (0.97 km2) nature preserve located in Evansville, Indiana. It is a National Natural Landmark and a State Nature Preserve owned by the City of Evansville and operated by the non-profit Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve Society.

    The preserve consists of over 190 acres (0.77 km2) of virgin bottomland hardwood forest complemented by an additional 50 acres (200,000 m2) of younger forest, field, and pond. The woods consist of sweetgum, sugar maple,tuliptree, shumard oak, and green ash throughout. It is the largest tract of virgin forest located inside any city limits in the United States.

    The oldest trees are over 400 years old. Among the largest of their species are 24 state champions and two national champion trees. One of the tallest trees in the state is a tulip poplar located within the park. It is 147 feet (45 m) tall with a 13.2-foot (4.0 m) circumference and 81-foot (25 m) canopy.

    Animal species include squirrels, raccoons, gray foxes, coyote, and whitetail deer. The woods also serves as a refuge for a variety of woodpeckers and owls.

    A nature center welcomes visitors with exhibits, events, wildlife observation areas, a library, and gift shop. The amphitheater near Odonata Pond may also be rented for outdoor activities.

    The Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve Society also manages Howell Wetlands, a 23-acre (93,000 m2) wetlands property located at 1400 S. Tekoppel Avenue in the urban western area of Evansville.

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