Auburn University: Auburn College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment adding outdoor learning laboratory, walking trails to Weagle Woods on campus

Auburn University’s College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment plans to soon enhance Weagle Woods, an approximately 11-acre tract of forestland located behind the Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Building on the corner of South Donahue Drive and Lem Morrison Drive.

The project is funded through support by Auburn alumni Ken and Barby Oser of Milton, Florida. Ken is a graduate of the college, and Barby is a College of Liberal Arts graduate.

The natural space contains a healthy, mature forested habitat with some established trees estimated to be around 200 years old. Utilized for research and experiential educational opportunities, the space is a valued resource for the college, university and the greater Auburn community.

The College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment will enhance Weagle Woods by creating an outdoor learning laboratory to provide greater opportunities for public enjoyment of the space and further potential for hands-on educational activities.

With the support of the Osers, the college will establish new walking trails and design and install educational kiosks and interpretive signs. The main pathway and the identification signs along Donahue Drive have been installed.

The development phase of the Weagle Woods Learning Laboratory will provide a learning opportunity for students in the college’s Environmental Interpretation and Introduction to Environmental Education courses. As part of the curriculum, students will be involved in designing informational signage and the educational demonstration areas.

Once construction is complete, the property can be used for classroom instruction for courses in the College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment and other disciplines at Auburn, says Amy Counterman, project coordinator and professor of practice in the college.

“This area will benefit students from all over campus that can utilize the trails and informational signage as an outdoor laboratory,” said Counterman.

Janaki Alavalapati, dean of the College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment, said, “The Weagle Woods Learning Laboratory has potential to become a university resource, as well as provide benefits for the greater Auburn community for both educational and recreational purposes. Weagle Woods is near some popular tailgating areas and is anticipated to become a popular destination for football fans and other campus visitors alike.”

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