Discover & Learn

The Bernheim Way

Wildly Serious Vision

“Bernheim will be a nationally treasured leader in ecological stewardship that inspires the exploration of our deep connections with nature.”

Deeply Rooted

Bernheim's History

Bernheim Forest and Arboretum is a living legacy of philanthropist and visionary, German Jewish immigrant Isaac Wolfe Bernheim. In 1929, Mr. Bernheim bought and endowed the land that would become Bernheim Forest, now over 16,000 acres.
As we approach 100 years old, the Four Big Ideas listed below guide us, while our founder’s vision still inspires us to remain curious, seek wonder, be intentional, and always foster a sense of belonging.

Deep Connections with Nature

At Bernheim, the wild and wondrous intertwine, pulling you closer to nature. We invite you to wander our miles of trails and pathways, explore the stunning vistas and serene lakes, and be a part of the inspiring intersection of nature and art around every corner.

Actions Beyond Our Borders

At Bernheim, we know nature has such a positive impact on the health and well-being of our community, both within and beyond the boundaries of our forest. As a committed partner to schools, universities, and organizations of all kinds, we proudly share The Bernheim Way with all we encounter!

Ecological Stewardship

Protecting and conserving our forest requires passion, patience, and commitment. We’ve proudly exercised the intention of our founder for the last nearly 100 years and will continue to be a leader in preserving our natural environment for generations to come.

Thought Leadership

From Bernheim’s deep roots in interpretation, education, and conservation to leading the way in nature play and arts in nature, we remain a steady advocate for the harmonious intersection of humans and nature so all may thrive.

Upholding the Bernheim Way

Passionate, committed stewards make up the teams and leadership of Bernheim Forest and Arboretum. Get a closer look at the Board of Trustees who help make our work possible and management who ensures we connect all people to nature!