My Bernheim Story: Alice Welch

By Bernheim

Photo courtesy of Alice Welch

As a child Every Sunday after church as my parents would take us to Bernheim. Mom would pack a cooler with drinks and sandwiches and lay a sheet on the picnic table for lunch. Isacc’s Café wasn’t there, just land. We’d walk through this area to feed the geese and cross the road that cars would travel, that in later years was blocked.  We would hand-feed bread to the geese, thinking we were so brave to have the geese take it out of our hands. Dad would pick us up and put us high in the tree branches while mom looked on, scared. Once dad took us kids on a hike, as usual, but this time left mom at the trailhead on a picnic table. He got us lost in the forest. We were lost for 3 hours, but never knew it as dad kept us occupied and followed the knobs downwards and along creeks to finally find mom again. She was panicked.

Photo courtesy of Alice Welch

I remember talking to the one-eyed deer and the raccoon that lived in the cage [near what is now the Education Center]. Fast forward the time, I’m 45 years old now.  I have hiked and/or biked more than 20 times my age in Bernheim’s forest over the last decade. I go to Bernheim when I need a place for my adventurous spirit to roam, for photos of special events, or for peace in a not so peaceful world. I bring my children, now almost grown. I bring my Boy Scouts, to offer services for ColorFest of the Rope Bridge and to clear trails.

Photo courtesy of Bernheim archives

I plan on 45 more years of enjoying one of the most peaceful places in my life.

Truly Blessed,

Alice Welch

In honor of Bernheim’s 90th anniversary in 2019, we are making a conscious effort to collect stories and memories of Bernheim. In addition to your stories, both old and new, we are seeking any photographs, video footage and historical information you may have about Bernheim from the past 90 years.  Please let us know if you or someone you know has a great Bernheim story to share by contacting us at

Please note: Any information provided to grants Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest the permission to reuse this information in print and/or digital formats, as well as other public display for the promotion of its 90th anniversary in 2019 and beyond, to further the efforts of our mission in connecting people with nature.

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