Tall trees at John Cring Memorial Forest

Posted by: Elijah Stewart

  • 12/04/2023

Acquisition: John Cring Memorial Forest

Earlham College recently donated to ACRES a 40-acre forest in Jay County. In the 1960s, Earlham College had received the property from the Cring family, who had requested that the forest be “preserved in its natural and primitive state.”

With the canopy layer consisting largely of mature sugar maples and American beech trees, The John Cring Memorial Forest is one of the few ACRES properties that could soon be considered a climax plant community.

A small grove of Kentucky coffee trees, along with scattered chinquapin oaks, offer additional uniqueness to the property. Underneath these 3 – 4 foot diameter canopy trees is a thick shrub layer of pawpaw and spicebush. Although tiling and draining in this and surrounding properties has altered the natural hydrology, this high-quality flatwoods has persisted and will continue to do so under ACRES ownership.

Thank you, Earlham College, for entrusting ACRES with this property. We are proud to steward the forest in a way that achieves the Cring family’s wishes while providing benefits for all. Also, many thanks to a generous Allen County couple who provided the final fundraising to complete this project.

Vertical shot of the large trees at John Cring Memorial Forest.
Photo by Jarrid Spicer

Update on ACRES Biggest Year of Acquisition

Conley Woods Nature Preserve and John Cring Memorial Forest are part of a larger endeavor to acquire and permanently protect more land than ever before. ACRES is working this year to secure 752 acres of land valued at more than $7.8 million.

Thanks to landowner donations and discounts, we need to raise just a fraction of that: $2.6 million dollars (what a deal!). These special places won’t be protected without the support of people who care, people like you. Every dollar helps! Many thanks to those who already invested in these projects. For the latest updates or to make a gift today, please visit acreslandtrust.org/forever.