(L-R): Noah Dell, of Friends of Bohm Woods, and SIUE Biological Sciences professor Rick Essner showing signage for Bohm Woods funded by the Meridian Society.

EDWARDSVILLE – Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Biological Sciences Professors Rick Essner and Peter Minchin, utilized a Meridian Society grant to install informational signs in Bohm Woods Nature Preserve, an old-growth forest across from campus, Saturday morning, Jan. 23.

Local Boy Scout Adrian Hall, of Troop 216, installed a new entrance sign and several interpretive signs for his Eagle Scout project. Fellow scout Connor Coolbaugh previously built and installed an informational kiosk at the site.

“We are grateful to the Meridian Society for supporting this project,” Essner said. “Old growth forests are exceedingly rare in the eastern United States and to have one so close to campus is remarkable. Bohm Woods offers a window into Illinois' past, and we appreciate the opportunity to educate the public and our students about this special place.”

Joining Essner and Boy Scout Troop 216 as partners on the project were the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Illinois Nature Preserves Commission, SIUE Department of Biological Sciences, HeartLands Conservancy and Girl Scout Troop 110.

Additionally, Bohm Woods now has a Friends of Bohm Woods group led by Noah Dell from the Missouri Botanical Garden. They were on hand to remove invasive plant species from the Nature Preserve.

Bohm Woods is a 90-acre nature preserve managed by the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission, and includes high-quality forest habitats and grassland areas. It is located across from the SIUE Environmental Resources Training Center and allows passive recreation and limited hunting with a permit.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville provides students with a high-quality, affordable education that prepares them for successful careers and lives of purpose to shape a changing world. Built on the foundation of a broad-based liberal education, and enhanced by hands-on research and real-world experiences, the academic preparation SIUE students receive equips them to thrive in the global marketplace and make our communities better places to live. Situated on 2,660 acres of beautiful woodland atop the bluffs overlooking the natural beauty of the Mississippi River’s rich bottomland and only a short drive from downtown St. Louis, the SIUE campus is home to a diverse student body of nearly 13,000.

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