Ohio Wesleyan University currently maintains two forested nature preserves, which serve as outdoor facilities for teaching and research. Each preserve was donated by a family interested in preserving the integrity of the land in the foreseeable future.

The Bohannan and Kraus Preserves, each named for its donor family, are both located in Delaware County, and between them provide a fascinating perspective on the range and diversity of habitats and wildlife within the modern temperate forest ecosystem. While the preserves remain as undisturbed as possible to maintain their natural character, they are used for field trips during scheduled lab periods, as well as for student and faculty research projects.

Many of the natural science classes at Ohio Wesleyan visit these areas regularly as part of the laboratory experience. Laboratory classes engage in a wide variety of projects ranging from surveys of microbes, plants, fungi, invertebrates, and birds, to carrying out experiments designed to test specific hypotheses about natural ecosystems. In addition, many students in Botany-Microbiology, Chemistry, Geology, and Zoology receive course credit for conducting independent research at the preserves.

Mission Statement

The Ohio Wesleyan nature preserves are used for the purposes of scientific education and scientific research. As dictated by the Kraus and Bohannan families, the preserves are to be maintained in their natural state. Any management and monitoring done at the preserves attempts to minimize human impact and facilitates opportunities for scientific study.