Martell Forest was acquired to provide research and outdoor lab teaching opportunities close to the West Lafayette campus. It is named for Dr. Eldred R. “Shorty” Martell, who was head of Purdue's Department of Forestry and Conservation, now known as the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, from 1940 to 1957. It was originally called Shidler Forest after the family the land was acquired from. Throughout its history, the forest has been central to the education of hundreds of natural resource professionals as well as a center for diverse research activities.
Martell Forest is the site of the
John S. Wright Forestry Center, a research , teaching and conference facility located at 1007 N 725 W, West Lafayette, Indiana.
Oak/hickory cover the slopes and uplands on this heavily hills and ravine property. 2.6 miles of stream also provide bottomland and mesic species like sycamore/cottonwood and black walnut. Located in Central Till Plain.
- Acquisition date: 1958 (additional tracts acquired up to 2008
- Total acres: 477
- 70% forested
- 21% plantations
- 12 acres of prairie
- 2.4 acres of open water
- 2.6 miles of stream
- 4.5 miles of road
All researchers who want to conduct research at martell must have their project approved prior to starting. Please fill out
FNR Property Request for approval
Current Research Activities
Extension: 45% of field extension events held on FNR property occur at Martell Forest
Teaching: 22 class labs from seven departments utilize the property for teaching
Invasive Species Management
2010 invasive plant assessments indicated 144 acres requiring attention. High priority sections covered 60 acres. These areas had high density and large sized plants of bush honeysuckle, autumn olive, and eastern burning bush.
2020 assessment indicated 21 acres require follow up respraying or hand pulling and 9 acres indicating medium infestation. The work has been accomplished by staff, student interns, invasive plant workshops, and FNR class labs.
Van Camp Arboretum
Martell Forest is home to the
John L. Van Camp Arboretum, a collection of 100 trees native to Indiana provided to the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources as a gift from the family of former faculty member John L. Van Camp.
2018-2020 Indian Creek Stabilization
Thanks to 2 IDNR Lake and River Enhancement grants totaling $108,000, Indian creek had a natural channel design construction project completed fall of 2019 near the Van Camp arboretum. The creek was threatening to wash out the access road into the property as well as damage to the pedestrian bridge over the creek. The project will protect the infrastructure and improve stream habitat.