Whites Woods Nature Center is a recreational area in Indiana, Pennsylvania. With miles of trails and wildlife, it's a wonderful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Open from sunrise to sunset daily, the trails are enjoyed by many all year round. There is an entrance into the woods on North 12th Street, or you can enter through the adjoining IUP Co-op park. If you wish to volunteer and keep Whites Woods clean contact White Township Recreation Complex at (724) 349-2667 or through Friends of Whites Woods. Their link is posted below.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Back Story

As I hope some of you know or are going to soon find out that White's Woods is a recreational park full of trails that the public can use from dawn to dusk in any season. It originally was owned by the Railroad companies in the 1950's or 60's then the land was sold to a real state agency. It consisted of 250 acres that was then given to White Township by the heirs of White Estates for recreational use by the terms of “Project 70 Land Acquisition and Borrowing Act” of 1964 . Today, there are over ten trails that the public can use along with campsites and a connection with the IUP CO-OP park along with other locations such as the IUP farm. There is also a 5k or 3k marked trail that goes through various terrain. There is a frisbee golf course as well.

121207 CHC Sustainable Indiana: What about sustainability?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Deer Population

Issues in White's Woods: Deer Population Many residents of White's Woods have expressed concerns of the growth of the deer population. There has been complaints that these animals have been destroying the vegetable gardens and flowers. Some of them are absolutely outraged and petitioned to actually be able to hunt in White's Woods. The weapons permitted would only be bow and arrow and/or muzzleloader guns. Deer population has been an issue not just in Indiana, PA. There has been many who have documented the supposedly negative effects of deer population on the surrounding environment and other species. The claim that deer has decreased songbird population because the deer have been consuming their preferred places to nest. This also is a further act of deforestion, worst in their mind than any other form besides exotic insects and disease. Forms to control population have included a hunting season for female deer. (Pussel, 2013). Now, there have not been any further word on this issue concerning hunting in White's Woods. There has been a proposal on other forms of population control like using actual wild life birth control methods such as injecting does with a serome that makes them infertile temporarily by way of a dart gun (2013). What are your thoughts about it? Let us know and comment.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


In 2007, the White Township Supervisors decided that 21% of the acreage of the recreational park should be given for lumber.  The Supervisors contacted the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) with this plan, but it did not meet the minimum requirements for timbering.  This also goes against the agreement, Project 70 Land Acquisition and Borrowing Act, with which Whites Woods was purchased with, not to mention that logging would also cause problems with flooding because of watershed..  Friends of Whites Woods (FWW) and DCNR are in agreement that this planned is flawed.  However, DCNR are still in contact with the White Township Supervisors in promoting timbering in Whites Woods. This has been going on for a few years and in 2010 an map of the logging plan was released.  As of now, there has not been logging to the extent of what was originally proposed, but damage has already been done.  FWW has had a representative at all meetings between White Township Supervisors and DCNR to save the real meaning and use of Whites Woods.  Pictures of the damage can be seen with the following link: http://friendsofwhiteswoods.wordpress.com/home-page-current-status-update/whites-woods-after-logging/pine-ridge-photos/

Friday, November 1, 2013

Impact of White's Woods

White's Woods is one of those places that people tend to take for granted. Indiana residents are fortunate that they have access to this wonderful nature location, a space a lot of towns don't necessarily have. Open for use year round, the impact that the nature reserve has on the community is profound. It provides a place to 'get away' without having to actually leave town. Many people use White's Woods for many purposes, and I have yet to come across someone who will speak about it negatively.
Everyone I've spoken to has nothing but praises to sing about the trails that cut a path into the beautiful woods and the benefits that it provides for the community. Living in Indiana at the edge of the woods for 30 years, the Kerrs have a special knowledge of and relationship with the woods which begin in their backyard. From taking their children for walks to walking their dogs, they have spent a fair amount of time enjoying the beauty that has been offered. They talked about how wonderful it was to have a place where they could take a step back, and described it as 'a perfect emotional get away.' This speaks to the benefit a nature retreat offers to the soul, as well as to many other health benefits that getting into the woods can provide. With miles of walking trails, the physical benefits of taking a walk is obvious, but how much nicer is it to take a walk in the woods, where the only interruption is the song of a bird or a quick chat with someone else enjoying the woods?
People seem to enjoy it, because Indiana locals are not the only people who use the woods. The Kerrs told me that many people come from other surrounding towns to use the woods, because like I mentioned, not everywhere is fortunate enough to have a space like White's Woods in their community. And as you can see from the other information on this blog, White's Woods is more than just a place to go for a walk. It has had some controversy over the years, about timbering and deer, gas wells and it's purpose. Some people don't see the need for the reserve, which is truly a sad thing. In our society, there has become a disconnect between people and nature. People see nature as something to control, while it subtly controls us. We need these spaces in our communities to understand the importance, mentally, physically, and spiritually, that they have upon us. I shall leave you with a quote that I think fits lovely: "Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books." John Lubbock