Whitham Woods

Jefferson County Conservation Board, Fairfield, Iowa
Whitham Woods

Whitham Woods

Whitham Woods, located one mile west of Fairfield on Business Highway 34, is the original site of the C.W. Whitham Nursery.

Whitham Woods is used for such passive recreation forms as hiking, cross country skiing, photography, fishing, bird watching, and nature appreciation. From 1858 to 1901 the railroad (now BNSF) ran through this property (RR history here).

Whitham Woods

Whitham Woods

Whitham Woods, located one mile west of Fairfield on Highway 34, is the original site of the C.W. Whitham Nursery. It was donated to the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation in 1980 by Daisy Whitham, and then turned over to the Jefferson County Conservation Board on a management-lease agreement.

Many of the original nursery plantings have grown to maturity, creating an interesting diversification of plant materials. The north half of the area is covered by oak and hickory timber, providing excellent habitat for deer, squirrels, rabbits and various non-game bird species.

A four acre prairie plot seeded with Big Blue Stem, Little Blue Stem, Indian Grass, Side Oats Grama, Switch Grass and various native forbs can also be found here.

Prairie Flower

Whitham Woods is used for such passive recreation forms as hiking, cross-country skiing, photography, fishing, bird watching, and nature appreciation.

In 2013, a one acre pond was renovated at Whitham Woods. A $22.000 fish habitat grant was used to reconstruct the dam and remove the silt from it's basin. Staff members placed fish habitat structures on the bottom of the pond.

At the request of the Whitham family at the time of the donation, no infrastructure or development can take place at Whitham Woods although a parking lot has been provided just off of Highway 34 and a section of the Loop Trail has been constructed in the park.

A book on the history of Whitham Woods is available at the Fairfield Public Library.

Lake at Whitham Woods

Within Whitham Woods you can find approximately 111 different species of trees, including 18 species of conifers and fruit trees such as apple, peach, pear and plum.
A species checklist can be picked up at the conservation board office in Jefferson County Park.

Lake at Whitham Woods

Park Management News... by Shawn Morrissey, JCCB Operations & Natural Resource Manager

Feb 2013.  The pond renovation project has begun at Whitham Woods.  All vegetation has been cleared from around the pond, the dam was breached and the pond drained.

Whitham Woods

In the process, approximately 200 fish were collected and moved to ponds within Jefferson County Park.  The pond will need to dry completely before the silt can be removed and work can continue.  This renovation may take several months to complete and it is the type of project where a big mess must be made in order to end up with a nice finished project.

March 2014.  The pond renovation at Whitham Woods is finished. The project, which involved the enlarging and deepening of the 60 year old pond, was funded by a fish habitat grant. We were hoping to get some good fall rains so the pond could be partially stocked before winter...but now we'll have to wait to see what Spring will bring.

Oct 2012.  The 2013 Jefferson County Conservation Board Annual Trail Drive-Through included Whitham Woods. The Drive-Through program is designed for people who would not otherwise be able to see the trails have an opportunity to experience them first-hand.

Whitham Woods Drive-Through

For more details about Whitham Woods, go to the Fairfield Loop Trail website, Whitham Woods page at the Jefferson County Trails website.

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Mission Statement
Our mission is to enhance the quality of life in Jefferson County by acquiring, developing and managing public areas so that its citizens will have opportunities for quality outdoor recreation experiences, and to cultivate good land stewardship through natural history and environmental education activities.

Jefferson County Conservation Board, 2003 Libertyville Road, Fairfield, IA 52556
Call: 641-472-4421    Fax: 641-472-7911   E-mail: jeffersonccb@lisco.com
Updated 12-23-16

 

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