Over time, the Field Station has expanded, creating the Baldwin Woods Forest Preserve and protecting in perpetuity a portion of the 3,700-acre Baldwin Woods area, which has been designated a National Natural Landmark.

Baldwin Woods Kansas autumnforesttriptych  c Edward C. Robison III
Photo credit: Edward Robison III 

Our Role

The Conservation Fund led efforts to more than double the size of the 200-acre Baldwin Woods Forest Preserve. Beginning in 2015, The Conservation Fund purchased three properties totaling 254 acres as a temporary measure while the University of Kansas could secure funding for the acquisition that would permanently protect the land.

The Conservation Fund assisted with a grant from the Forest Legacy Program, a federal program of the U.S. Forest Service, funded by Congress through the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The Forest Legacy Program encourages the protection of privately owned lands and is a voluntary program that helps states develop and carry out their forest conservation plans. This was the first time the Forest Legacy Program had funded a project in Kansas.

We also partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service to provide mitigation funding from Enbridge Pipelines L.L.C. and TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, LP, for the protection of the properties. Additional funding came from Douglas County Natural and Cultural Heritage Program funds and a generous donation from the landowners.

In 2016, the Fund finalized the transfer of land to the University of Kansas and their partner the Kansas University Endowment Association. The Kansas Biological Survey will manage the property, which will be available to researchers, staff and students of the University of Kansas.

Why This Project Matters

The newly-conserved land contains high quality upland forest, restored prairie, riparian habitat and rock outcroppings along Coal Creek that provide a home for 16 plant species considered rare by the Kansas Biological Survey, two state-threatened snakes and two bird species designated as Species of Special Concern. With these acquisitions, the Baldwin Woods Forest Preserve will now cover nearly 500 acres of protected land.

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