Dunn Woods has a long history as the center, the heart of Indiana University, ever since it was acquired in in 1883. Recent changes in policy are affecting the Woods, and as is often the case, some are good, and some not. The removal of a large portion of the invasive euonymus ground cover has been good, but the grounds crew’s removal of downed timber and the running of large machinery has (IMHO) been less than copasetic for the woods that host a diverse ecosystem that hosts not only the expected rabbits, squirrels, wildflowers and mushrooms, but also Cooper’s hawks and the northern short-tailed shrew. I am hoping that we do not “clean up” the woods to a state where these creature feel unwelcome.
“I hope our alumni will always insist upon the retention of our precious islands of green and serenity — our most important physical asset, transcending even classrooms, libraries, and laboratories in their ability to inspire students to dream long dreams of future usefulness and achievement — dreams that are an important and essential part of undergraduate college experience.”
– Herman B Wells, 1962
“I am glad to hear of the general brightness of the prospects of the institution. … the location is certainly better among those great maples. I hope that you will let none be cut down, except when their removal is absolutely necessary.” David Starr Jordan
Here are some links to deeper info on the history of Dunn Woods: