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University Forest

Since the mid-1940s, University Forest has been a living laboratory for students and researchers desiring how to best manage Missouri's natural resources.

Managed by the University of Missouri's School of Natural Resources, University Forest is also open year-round for agencies and non-profit organizations involved in any aspect of natural resources education.

The Setting

The University Forest Environmental Education Center is located at the southeast edge of the Missouri Ozarks in Butler County, just 14 miles north of Poplar Bluff near Lake Wappapello.

University Forest is uniquely situated at the junction of three major forest ecosystem types: upland oak-hickory, oak-shortleaf pine and Mississippi Delta bottomland hardwoods.

The 160-acre Center is surrounded by thousands of acres of forests and other wildlands managed by several public natural resource organizations, including:

  • U.S. Forest Service
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Missouri Department of Conservation

Located Near Lake Wappapello

Lake Wappapello

University Forest is located just a few miles south of Lake Wappapello. The lake is popular with students and faculty as a fishing spot for white bass, crappie and bluegill, as well as largemouth bass and catfish. Other options include hiking, picnicking, boating and swimming.

More local opportunities for research and recreation within a few minutes' drive include the Mingo Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, the Duck Creek Wildlife Area and the Black, Current and St. Francis Rivers.

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