Westside Nature Preserve

The Westside Nature Preserve – Today!

The Westside Nature Preserve (WNP) is a 33 acre parcel of eastern deciduous woodland/wetland found on the Westside Campus. The primary purpose of the WNP is to set aside a portion of the locally diverse fauna and flora for future generations. Subsidiary purposes are to provide an outdoor laboratory for studies of the environment and to be an educational resource for the University community and the larger community in which the University resides.

There is a great deal to see on the clear-cut. Particularly prominent are members of a large plant family, Asteraceae.  This family includes Daisies, Black-eyed Susans, and Fleabanes, and later in the summer and into the fall, at least half a dozen different species of Asters. Five different kinds of clovers (members of the family Fabaceae) are now in bloom, Red Clover, White Clover, Yellow Sweet Clover, White Sweet Clover, and Hop Clover. Three different kinds of plantains, Common PlantainEnglish Plantain (members of the Plantain Family), and Water Plantain (a member of the Water Plantain Family, found in standing water) are now quite evident. A plethora of kinds of grasses, Timothy, Red Top, Giant Reed, Deer-Tongue, Orchard, and Foxtail, to name but a few, are flowering about now.

A multitude of insect species, now quite active on the clear-cut, includes the modern pterodactyls, Dragonflies, including the Twelve-spotted Skimmer, Eastern Amberwing and Widow Skimmer, and Butterflies, including Great Spangled Fritillary, Eastern Yellow Swallowtails, and Eastern Black Swallowtails.

White-tail Deer fawns and Turkey chicks are abroad on the WNP- please give them a wide berth.
Enjoy yourself and when you leave check for Deer Ticks.

Please leave comments/suggestions at 203-837-8794