McCalla’s Woods

McCalla’s Woods borders the Hoosier National Forest, adding to an important block of interior forest habitat in southern Indiana. The wooded preserve contains several stands of planted pine trees surrounded by native upland hardwoods. Many pines in one stand were blown down in a storm in 2011, opening up the canopy for native forest regeneration. The forest provides habitat for Indiana Special Concern species including broad-winged hawk (Buteo platypterus), worm-eating warbler (Helmitheros vermivorum), black-and-white warbler (Mniotilta varia), hooded warbler (Setophaga citrina), and eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina). The preserve is also crossed by seasonal creeks, and contains a small pond that provides breeding habitat for amphibians.

The nature preserve began with gifts from two generations of the McCalla family. The McCallas moved to Paoli in 1958, and soon after purchased rural land that included the future nature preserve parcels. Barbara and Charles McCalla III donated the first parcel of the preserve to Sycamore in 1998, followed by a gift of adjoining land from Teri Bluel and Charles McCalla IV in 2008. Sycamore purchased a small addition in 2022. The Laura Hare Tract of McCalla’s Woods, which filled in the center of the preserve, was purchased from Pam McCalla in 2024 with grants from the Laura Hare Charitable Trust and Atira Conservation, and gifts from Chris Lambdin and an anonymous donor.

  • County: Orange
  • Acres: 185
  • Acquired with gifts from: Barbara and Charles McCalla III, Teri Bleuel and Charles McCalla IV, Laura Hare Charitable Trust, Atira Conservation, Chris Lambdin, and Anonymous
  • Years acquired: 1998, 2008, 2022, 2024