The Caroline Dormon Foundation held its 13th annual Spring Picnic Fundraiser on the grounds of the 212 acre nature preserve Saturday, April 2. A crowd of about 150 supporters and friends of the preserve enjoyed a catered picnic lunch, walking tours led by knowledgeable naturalists, a plant sale, and raffle.
The Briarwood Nature Preserve is the birthplace and childhood home of famed naturalist Caroline Dormon. Dorman was a naturalist, author and the first woman hired by the US Forest Service. She was also instrumental in the creation of the Kisatchie National Forest. The Briarwood Nature Preserve serves to carry on her legacy of preservation and education about the natural world.
The preserve also holds the distinction of hosting some of the few surviving specimens of the endangered tree Torreya Taxifolia. The tree originally grew in an area on the Florida/Georgia border. Caroline Dormon brought some seedlings home from a trip to Florida in the 1930’s. The trees disappeared from their original habitat and now only exist in a few places. According to Louisiana Scholars’ College professor, Dr. Betsy Cochran, the Briarwood Nature Preserve boasts the largest number of Torreya Taxifolia trees in the United States.
From wildflowers to birds, animals and miles of walking trails, there is indeed something for everyone at the Briarwood Nature Preserve. The Natchitoches Parish Journal also wishes to congratulate Lakeview and NSU alumnae, Ms. Bayli Quick, on her new position as the preserve’s curator.