Briarwood Nature Preserve Saline, Louisiana August 2014
Monday I had the pleasure of visiting Briarwood Nature Preserve. I was given a personal tour by preserve manager Richard Johnson. Mr. Johnson grew up at the preserve and returned after retirement. He and his wife joined Richard’s parents as conservationists and grounds-keepers. They have their work cut out for them, but their hard work has led to the preservation of many species of plants and trees that would otherwise be extinct.
Briarwood is the home of Caroline Dormon, the first female employee of the US Dept. of Forestry, and a pioneer in the field of forestry. Dormon was also a cultural anthropologist, educator, and gifted artist. She developed educational curriculums to teach arboreal studies to grade school children and authored many books on plants (most of which she illustrated herself).
Briarwood is off the beaten path, but certainly worth visiting. The site contains a trail that was one of the continents’ first “interstates.” This trail was the travel route for Native American tribes, buffalo and eventually Spanish explorers traveling northward from Mexico.