EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) — Even though school is back in session throughout Indiana, summer is still in full swing. Take a break from the books and head to nature’s classroom at Wesselman Woods in Evansville.
Cindy Cifuentes is Director of Natural Resources and Research. She says the woods offers a chance for the whole family to have fun and explore.
“I want people to just be curious when they come here. When they see a bug or a bird or a tree, I want them to just be curious like what is that? Why is that here?”
Wesselman Woods is nestled in the middle of Evansville. The 200 acres of urban old growth forest is the largest in the country.
“Incorporated in 1972, so we are coming up on our 50th anniversary. Now the woods has a storied history of different land sales,” says Kristina Arwood, Director of Marketing.
Today, you and your family can visit the woods starting with a stop at the nature center where they have various displays of reptiles, amphibians, fish, birds and mammals.
Once you’ve checked out the exhibits and animals in the nature center, grab a field guide and head outside.
“As you’re hiking,” suggests Kailene Goldsberry, the Lead Environmental Educator, “I would recommend stopping the museum and seeing all our big raptors that we have and then going on your hike and just experiencing the trails. The 200 acre forest that we have.”
Kids can enjoy the Nature Playscape which was just built in 2018. “They can come out they can take that closer look and kind of pick the leaf off the tree and notice the edges and notice the texture of it.”
“This place is so important because it houses so much biodiversity and home to wildlife that lives in the city that wouldn’t be found anywhere else,” says Cifuentes.
Wesselman Woods offers several events throughout the year. Coming up in September, there’s Wellness in the Woods, followed by Wandering Owl in October featuring a wine and beer trail, and the famous maple sugar bush festival in March.