Due to a heat index exceeding 90 degrees, the Millennium Trail and Elm Lick Trail will remain closed until further notice.

Behind the Scenes in Bernheim’s Natural Areas

By Evan Patrick

Invasive species, garlic mustard in flower

Bernheim’s 40+ miles of hiking trails are just a part of our natural forest area. Areas not accessible to visitors are used for research by both Bernheim and external scientists and maintained as protected forest. Bernheim’s staff works behind the scenes every day to keep this forest pristine, so it can provide clean air and water for our surrounding communities.

The Burn Boss and Apprentice Burn Boss oversee a burn unit at the Big Prairie.

Daily activities vary by season, but here’s a peek at what our Natural Areas team has been up to this early spring.

  • Treated 35.5 acres for invasive species, most commonly garlic mustard
  • Installed trail cameras throughout the forest to capture images of wildlife that call Bernheim home
  • Collected data for ongoing research on oak regeneration
  • Continued to follow golden eagle Athena’s journey as she departed Bernheim in March
  • Re-blazed the Millennium Trail, which will now use blue blazes for wayfinding
  • Conducted prescribed fires on the Big Prairie

Their hard stewardship work is crucial in protecting Bernheim’s 16,140-acre forest. Large areas of protected land like Bernheim are critical in helping to offset the devastating effects of climate change.

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