February 22, 2022
The areas around Wolf Run Lake were formerly open fields and were “let go” back in the 1960s. Once annual mowing ceased, the area transitioned into a highly degraded state with low levels of native biodiversity. Eastern red cedar and shingle oak (both native but very weedy species) dominate the area, along with non-native invasive species like honeysuckle, privet, buckthorn, and Japanese stilt grass. Over the next several years, the Nature Reserve’s Restoration team will invest significant time and energy to restore this area into high-diversity prairie and savanna habitat. We are excited to continue our institutional goal of bringing all 2,400 acres of the Nature Reserve into active biodiversity-focused management by 2030, and this project is a major step in that direction.
The Missouri Botanical Garden’s land purchase in 1925 began the legacy of Shaw Nature Reserve. Originally set up as a safe refuge for the plant collection from the smoke pollution of the 1920’s, its role in the community has evolved through the years. Shaw Nature Reserve has many roles—as a nature reserve, a place to walk and hike, and a good spot for relaxing and for studying nature. It has become a premier educational, research and habitat restoration and reconstruction site.