Salt Creek Nature Sanctuary Adds New Property

In February 2014, twenty-three acres of mature woods were added to the Sanctuary holdings, bringing the total amount of land protected and managed by The Oxford Society to 280 acres. Located along the south side of Meadow Lane, Poplar Forest, named for its majestic stand of Tulip Poplars (Liriodendron tulipifera), was acquired in partnership with Steve Gordon.

Soon after acquiring the property, Gordon and TOS Executive Director Don Kaufman had a small late 20th century dwelling razed and the debris removed from the homestead site. Gordon is continuing to clean trash from the property. In 2015, he and Kaufman installed fencing along the north side of the parcel adjacent to Meadow Lane. With funding from an EQIP grant (Environmental Quality Incentives Program, administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service for the US Department of Agriculture), Gordon has begun to remove autumn olive, an invasive shrub species, from the property. While previous owners allowed the harvesting of approximately 50 hardwood trees, Gordon sought and received designation of the property as a Classified Forest and Wildlands, thereby protecting the woods in perpetuity from future logging, damage due to all-terrain vehicles, and new construction.

To date, Gordon has identified 28 species of trees along with numerous woody shrubs, perennials, and spring ephemerals. Box turtles, ring-necked snakes, and dusky salamanders also populate the woods, as do myriad bird species, both resident and migratory.

The Oxford Society wishes to thank Steve Gordon for his generosity and foresight in protecting this beautiful parcel of woodland. In addition, we want to acknowledge several county and state officials who have helped with species identification, woodland management, and funding for invasive removal. Included are Thomas Swinford, Regional Ecologist; Brenda Huter, Forest Stewardship Coordinator; and Jayson Waterman, District Forester, all from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources; and Evan Divine, District Conservationist, USDA-NRCS, Brookville Service Center.

Access to the woods is by permit only. For information, contact Don Kaufman ( or Steve Gordon (

A Ravine at the Salt Creek Nature Sanctuary Expansion Turtle at Salt Creek Nature SanctuarySpring Blossoms at Salt Creek Nature SanctuaryFern at Salt Creek Nature Sanctuary