Are you a nature enthusiast who loves being outside? Maybe you’re a fan of bird watching or just need somewhere romantic to take your date this weekend. Well, you’re in luck because Auburn’s Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve can fill all of those needs and much more!
The Preserve offers Auburn residents a chance to enjoy nature in its purest form. It has many attractions. The reptile viewing area and the turtle habitat allow you to watch these creatures while they are in their natural habitat. If you’re more into flowers, the Preserve also has a fern viewing area and a native wildflower area.
There are 15 hiking trails at the Preserve which run through the various habitats that are perfect for a jog or just to walk around and take in all that nature has to offer. If you prefer a less strenuous option, a 1/8 mile easy-walking trail is available. To help, trail maps are present for self-guided tours.
Other attractions include a butterfly garden, nature playground and an old homestead and barn.
The Preserve also offers the Frank Allen Turner Memorial Canopy – a 100 seat multi-level meeting area with restrooms, wheelchair ramp, drinking fountain and fire pit.
The history of the Preserve starts in 1993 when Dr. Louise Turner and her husband, Frank A. Turner, donated 110 acres of forest land to Auburn University's School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences. As Auburn and the surrounding areas continued to grow, the Turners wanted to see the Preserve intact. It became an educational facility where “students” could study, learn, appreciate and enjoy the natural world.
To help their dream become a reality, Dr. Turner began managing and developing the Preserve and its programs from 1998-2000. As of January 2001, management was taken over by a volunteer program and the Development Committee under the directions of Dr. Richard Brinker, dean of the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, and Margaret Hiller, Preserve Coordinator. In June 2007, a full-time administrator, Jennifer Lolley, was hired to help further develop the Preserve.
The mission of the Preserve is to provide programs, experiences, nature trails and natural habitats for education, study and relaxation for students and people of all ages while creating an atmosphere of discovery and stewardship toward our natural world.
There are regularly-scheduled programs provided to the public and presented by professionals in their fields who highlight ecological themes, e.g. birding, tree identification, pond habitat, reptiles. These programs are held both on and off the site.
The Preserve is also available for schools, scouts, church groups and other organized groups by reservation. If interested, please call 334-821-3914.
For more information about the Preserve, please visit their Web site
or call Jennifer Lolley with questions at 334-502-4553.