Image: Class looking at wildlife at the field station


The James H. Barrow Biological Field Station consists of 550 acres of land with more than 200 acres of beech-maple forest, a cold-water stream, two ponds, old fields of varying ages, young forests, an over five-mile interpretive nature trail, a waterfowl observation building and meeting center, a lab building with student research areas, and wildlife rehabilitation facilities.

This pond is home to a pair of trumpeter swans, ducks, geese and other waterfowl. The ponds and vernal pools throughout the Field Station provide habitat for observation and study of amphibians, invertebrates and wetland ecology.

The Kennedy Observation Building is located near the pond and is an ideal location for classes, outreach and meetings.

The blind, named for donors Ray and Eleanor Smiley, is a structure that allows observers to view waterfowl and other aquatic life at the observation pond without disturbing them.

This building provides space for care of orphaned and injured wildlife and animal research.

The “Duck House” was constructed to house rare birds. It was designed and is managed in collaboration with the Akron Zoo. This unique opportunity allows Hiram students to work with two of the world’s most endangered waterfowl — white-winged wood duck and Madagascar teal — in animal husbandry and to perform health checks and take blood and tissue samples under the direction of zoo staff and veterinarians.

The Frohring Lab provides more than 5,000 square feet for natural history displays, a large teaching lab, two small research labs, offices and rooms for wildlife rehabilitation. Natural history displays at the visitor entrance highlight common native Ohio animals. An additional area has touch tables, reading materials and rotational displays. The LEED-certified lab uses geothermal heating and cooling methods, as well as recycled roofing material and water conservation strategies.

The Frohring Pavilion, funded by the Paul and Maxine Frohring Foundation, is an area for nature camps, classes and visitors to study, hold meetings or relax.

Hiram faculty and students completed the Ruth E. Kennedy Memorial Nature Trail in the spring of 1982. The development and maintenance of this trail was made possible through the support of Edwin M. Kennedy. The trail and pavilion are open 365 days a year from dawn until dusk. The trail stands as a tribute to his wife who had much love for the Field Station.

Students can live in the bunkhouse during the academic year or the summer. These students and others help with animal care, maintenance projects, creation of displays and other Field Station tasks.

This area, marked by a commemorative bench and sign, memorializes Matt Hils, professor of biology and former Field Station director, who died in June 2014. The confluence of Silver Creek and Eagle Creek can be seen in the distance. Preservation of this valley and its water resources was accomplished through Dr. Hils’ efforts.

This butterfly garden provides food and habitat for monarchs as well as opportunities for close study of them. The garden is made up of nectar or food plants and host plants. It also has been certified as a Monarch Waystation by Monarch Watch.

This enclosure was constructed in order to have an outdoor facility to care for waterfowl in need of rehabilitation. The facility is named for donors Ray and Eleanor Smiley.

This prairie was planted in 2008 and is representative of the tall grass prairie that inhabited parts of Ohio from 8000 to 5000 years BP. It consists of native plants, mostly perennials that provide food for insects, reptiles, mammals and birds.