Cunningham Forest

Cunningham property, photo of tree line on property.

Acquired by Purdue FNR in 1936, the Cunningham family wished for the property to be used for “research, demonstration, and experimental work in the fields of Forestry and Horticulture”. The property served as the primary teaching, extension, and research forest for FNR until the 1958 purchase of Shidler Forest (Martell forest) and Baker Tract (PWA). The southern 40 acres were dominated by oaks (mostly white and bur) while the north forty was row cropped. FNR quickly reforested the north creating the close to 30 acres of pine forest unique in the area.

Property Statistics

  • Acquisition date: 1936
  • Total acres: 80
  • Water feature: small pond and county ditch running through south 40 acres
  • FNR staff/students live in the house on the property.

Unique Features

  • Large old white oak and bur oaks.
  • Pine stands of various species and densities.
  • Unique species planted between original hardwoods and “north field”
  • Paw paw grows very dense in portions of the woods.
  • Tornado in 1953 flattened portions of southwest hardwoods.

Management Plan

  • Contact manager

Historic Plot Information and Reports

  • Contact manager

An aerial map of Cunningham Forest.


Cunningham Property Forest and Equipment


Recent research includes:

Dr. Catherine Searle, Department of Biology: Distribution of amphibians and reptile populations across IN and prevalence of the pathogen chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

Dr. Matthew Ginzel, Department of Entomology: Insect trap studies focused on ambrosia and long-horned beetles.

Dr. Douglass Jacobs, FNR: Conversion of pines to native hardwoods.

Recent Extension Events

  • Farlee: Wednesday in the Wild: Forest management, plantations, and wildlife.
  • Farlee: Forest landowner event to learn about forest management and invasive species.
  • Farlee: Natural Resources Teacher Institutes 5 year Reunion-tour of property.
  • Location used for IN Division of Forestry - FNR landowner video footage.


  • Please contact manager prior to visiting the property
  • No collecting of plant materials


Brian D Beheler
Phone: 765-496-5015
Fax: 765-583-3512

View our nine research areas along with our world-class faculty, Research Areas.

Purdue centers seek to support and enhance the research and partnership enterprise at Purdue University. The centers are valued and encouraged at Purdue as they create a venue for faculty to come together to pursue common goals. Forestry and Natural Resources have faculty and staff involved in six centers here at the University.

The Department of Forestry and Natural Resources maintains an impressive collection of state-of-the-art research and education facilities. These labs, green houses, and educational facilities are a fundamental component that enables our faculty and students to learn, make new discoveries, and engage our clients in using these discoveries to sustain our nation’s ecosystems and natural resources.​