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About Friends of White's Woods

Our Mission

Friends of White’s Woods, Inc. (FWW) recognizes the importance of natural areas to the well-being of all life forms and wishes to protect these assets for current and future generations.  The organization’s primary purposes are to:

  • Preserve White’s Woods Nature Center as a natural area by allowing a natural succession into a mature hardwood forest.  Any changes to White’s Woods Nature Center must promote this succession and the recreation and conservation purposes required by Project 70 law.

  • Promote and educate the general public about the value of natural areas in general and White’s Woods Nature Center in particular by stressing the relationships among habitat, air, and water quality in an environment that nurtures us all.

  • Identify the unique role that White’s Woods Nature Center plays as a component of our community’s desirable quality of life.



  • White's Woods Nature Center (WWNC) was purchased with Project 70 funds for the purpose of recreation, conservation and historical preservation, which is inconsistent with selective timbering or the creation of a working forest.

  • Every attempt to survey the residents about commercial and/or selective timbering has resulted in overwhelming public opposition.

  • DCNR is clear that public input is an essential part of land management; excluding the users of WWNC from the planning process is a violation of the public trust.

Issues related to the Township’s approach to WWNC are as follows: 

  • Legal: Using lands purchased with Project 70 funds for other purposes requires approval of the General Assembly.

  • Conservation: It is prudent to have a management plan for WWNC. FWW endorses an evidence-based management plan that keeps the WWNC in its natural state and respects the process of natural succession.

  • Environmental/Residential Impact: Disrupting WWNC would result in significant water run-off resulting in property damage, decreased air and water quality in the Indiana area, and decreased property values of homes within walking distance of the park.

  • Recreation Issues: WWNC provides natural space less than a 10-minute walk away for thousands of residents.  It is perfect for a multitude of passive recreational activities for people of all ages and physical abilities.

  • Future Plans: FWW is committed to preserving WWNC as a Project 70 land, dedicated to conservation, recreation, and historical preservation.  It is a precious 250-acre community forest that should, as originally designated, remain "largely in its natural state."  

  • Enroll White's Woods in the Old Growth Forest Network: The OGFN is working to protect at least one mature or old growth forest in every county in the U.S. so that the forest may mature into, and be permanently protected as, old growth.  Less than 1% of eastern U.S. forests are currently old growth.

See our detailed position statement. ​


On behalf of all the members of Friends of White's Woods, we are honored to have received the following awards in honor of our leadership and activism in the preservation of our natural resources: 

  • 2021-22 Peggy Clark Grassroots Environmental Leadership Award, League of Women Voters of Indiana County

  • 2021 Evergreen Award, Evergreen Conservancy


Our Leadership

Board of Directors

  • Sara King, PhD, President

  • David Dahlheimer, Vice President

  • Tom Miller, Treasurer

  • Susan Dahlheimer, PhD, Communications

  • Fred Heilman

  • Patricia Heilman, PhD

  • Jessica Jopp

  • Rick Ritenour

  • Norma Tarnoff

  • Carolyn Trimarchi

Honorary Directors

  • Susan Comfort, PhD

  • Charles Olson

  • Marie Olson

  • Cheri Widzowski, PhD

  • Angela Whited

  • Tamara Whited, PhD

Evergreen Conservancy Award group pic.jpg
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