Briarwood: Caroline Dormon Nature Preserve
A Foundation is Established
During her lifetime Caroline Dormon received scores of tributes, but the most significant came from a handful of friends who wanted to fund and administer a foundation which would perpetuate Caroline’s work with trees and native plants. Several months before her death, they suggested that she will Briarwood to the Foundation for Preservation of the Caroline Dormon Nature Preserve, Inc. Within a decade, the Foundation completed a Headquarters Building, which became a center for educational purposes in the conservation field and a home for a curator. For college, university and high school groups who use the facilities of Briarwood, it has become a Mecca for their horticultural studies.
Today conservationists and horticulturists from all over the world travel to Briarwood-to walk down forest trails, to savor the beauty of the Louisiana iris bog, to admire the reflection pool, and to enjoy the most complete botanical and wildlife sanctuary in Louisiana.
Caroline Dormon was the first woman employed in forestry in the United States. Almost single-handedly she worked with Louisiana and U.S. Forest Service leaders to establish, comprised of 600,000 acres, stretching over seven parishes. Her pioneering work continues today through the inspiration she had given to professionals in her field and to thousands of others who have come to love the beauty of Louisiana woodlands and native flora.
Briarwood is shown by tours that are guided by experienced persons who knew Caroline Dormon, and who, through her encouragement, have come to know and appreciate every foot of this forest and it native plants. The preserve is open to the public every weekend in April, May, August, and November. It is located in the northern sand hills of Natchitoches Parish on Louisiana Highway No.9 between Saline, LA. and Campti, LA.