The team at Wesselman Woods (WW) will begin their annual road closures in the Wesselman Park area, outside of the Nature Preserve, as a part of their continued effort to protect native salamander species and conduct research on the population health over time. Road closures begin February 15 and end on April 1, 2022.
Wesselman Woods and Wesselman Park are unique forest habitats that are home to wildlife big and small, including salamanders. Salamanders emerge from hibernation around February to begin traveling toward wetlands for mating. During the first warm rains, these amphibians travel to the vernal pool in the middle of Wesselman Park. Salamanders must cross at least one road in order to reach this pool.
To ensure a safe salamander crossing zone each year, WW closes off the park loop near the Nature Preserve. A map of gate locations is below. Beginning February 15, gate closures will take place from dusk (4 p.m.) to dawn (6 a.m.) Monday through Friday. Gates will also be closed from 4 p.m. to 9 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. This should not affect park usage during normal daylight hours.
The bright yellow, reflective steel gates were funded by the community during the WW “Saving the Salamanders” GoFundMe campaign in early 2021.
WW thanks the public for their support in helping us keep native wildlife safe. If you have any questions about the gates or our research, please contact our Director of Natural Resources, Cindy Cifuentes, at 812-479-0771 or via email, firstname.lastname@example.org.