A message from our natural areas manager Jeff Plakke:
We're fortunate to work and volunteer in a place with an abundance of flowers, native fruits, acorns, nuts, seeds and mushrooms. We also often find feathers, bones, interesting sticks, stones, nests, and all sorts of fascinating natural stuff. Take a look, learn and enjoy! However, we ask that visitors, staff and volunteers please refrain from collecting these things and from taking them home.
It's fine to eat a few ripe raspberries or blackberries while in the field, but these and other wild edibles should not be collected and taken off the Matthaei-Nichols property. They should be left in their natural state so that others might enjoy seeing them and to avoid impacts of trampling off-trail. Also, when we leave mushrooms, fruits and nuts as we find them, we avoid disturbing the reproduction and dispersal of these species and impacting the wildlife that depend on these food sources for their survival. Please keep this in mind and we encourage you to educate visitors you encounter collecting in our natural areas.
What about teaching and research? These activities are a central part of our mission and with permission faculty, staff and students may collect, sample and sometimes display natural items.
What about exotic invasives? If you have a taste for garlic mustard or burdock root, like to carve buckthorn wood or have other uses for these species, please talk to me! We want to prevent them from being spread somewhere else deliberately or unintentionally, but welcome ideas for these ecologically problematic species.