When Indiana was settled, more than 90 percent of the land was in forest. The settlers methodically cleared most of that timber, leaving less than 300 acres of original old growth forest in the whole state!

As people began to cultivate that newly cleared land, it became clear that some if it was going to be difficult to farm because of drainage issues. Most of the woodlands we have in Northern Indiana today is land that was cleared, and then allowed to grow back into forest because it was too wet to farm.

Jeff Burbrink is an educator with Purdue Extension Elkhart County. He can be reached at 574-533-0554 or jburbrink@purdue.edu.

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