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FSU Biological Reserve

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Frequently Asked Questions

1.  What is the Biological Reserve?

The Biological Reserve, also referred to as the Botanical Preserve or Botanical Garden, is a piece of university property on the east side of the campus that is being used by the FSU Department of Natural Sciences.  It is being used to maintain some of the plant and animal species native to eastern North America and some of the kinds of habitats in which they occur.  It is used as an outdoor teaching and research laboratory.  The department has used the Reserve for more than twenty-five years.  The existence of an FSU Biological Reserve was given formal recognition by the FSU Board of Trustees at a meeting in April 2001.  In November 2003 the Board of Trustees voted to rescind its recognition of the existence of the Biological Reserve.

2.  Are there trails in the Reserve?

Construction of trails in the Reserve began in the 1970's and the trail system has been expanded since then.  There are trails in the part of the Reserve that is on the west side of Edgecombe Avenue.  The main trail begins behind the Rudolph Jones Student Center and ends across from the Chestnutt Library.

3.  Are there signs identifying plants in the Reserve?

Signs identifying some of the plant species in the Reserve were put in place in 1983 and have been there since then.

4.  Is there a nature trail in the Reserve?

A self-guiding nature trail was set up in the Reserve in 1987.  A guide to the trail describes features of the Reserve at locations indicated by numbered markers along the trail.

5.  Is the Reserve open to the public?

Yes.  The Reserve is open to the public every day the university is open.

6.  Is there a plan for the Reserve?

In 1982 a preliminary plan for the Reserve was developed.  It has been modified and expanded since that time.  The plan calls for the creation of some types of habitats which did not previously exist in the Reserve and which are being developed to resemble some of the naturally occurring ecosystems of eastern North America.  These developed or modified areas are the Hardwood Forest Habitat, the Mountain Valley, the Sandhills Habitat, the Southern Forest, and the Savannah.  The plan also calls for maintaining most of the Reserve in its natural state.  For more information, click on "Habitats" at the top of the page.

7.  What work has been done on the developed areas in the Reserve?

Soil has been modified in parts of the Hardwood Forest Habitat and the Sandhills Habitat.  Many non-native plants of several species such as Chinese Privet, Ligustrum sinense,  have been removed.  Since 1981, native plants belonging to 82 species have been added to the developed areas of the Reserve. Sixty-eight of these are species that did not previously exist in the Reserve.

8.  Are there any rare or endangered species in the Biological Reserve?

There are seven species of plants in the Reserve that can be considered as rare in Cumberland County.  Wild populations of some of these species are known to exist at three or fewer localities in the county.  No endangered species have been found in the Reserve.  For more information, click on "Rare Plants" at the top of the page

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