Get Involved: IU office of Sustainability Dunn's Woods Project

So this summer in Bloomington was amazing! Lucky for me, my roommate from freshman year, and one of my best friends, Hayley Prihoda, was also interning in Bloomington for the IU Office of Sustainability (IUOS). 

Over the course of the summer she worked as a member of the Dunn's Woods Restoration Project. The project began in 2010 and is a collaboration of students, faculty, and professionals who wish to understand and promote the cultural and natural history of Dunn's Woods, a 100+ year old woodland at the heart of Indiana University. 

Dunn's Woods

Fun fact about Dunn's Woods: IU was originally located at Seminary Square (aka the Kroger on 2nd Street!) After a series of fires and misfortunes the University board elected to purchase a 20 acre woodland plot from the Dunn Family in 1883. The current location of Dunn's Woods formed the heart of this new campus, with all new buildings being built around it. This unique plan, placing a woodland at the heart of a University campus, is still evident in the location of buildings such as Maxwell Hall, Kirkwood Hall, Swain Hall, and the Law School. 

So this leads us to the work of the Dunn's Woods project! Despite the fact that Dunn's Woods is an important site in IU's history, it was overlooked and forgotten about as the campus expanded from 20 acres to its current 2000 acres!! Over this period, half of the woods was overtaken by the invasive species of plant, Purple Wintercreeper. Project members and volunteers are working to combat this invasion! 

This summer I participated in Hayley's volunteer workdays along with 50 other volunteers! The workdays were held weekly in Dunn's Woods. During these workdays the other volunteers and I worked on removing Purple Wintercreeper and planting native woodland wildflowers!

Hayley had the amazing opportunity to continue her internship into the school year! This Fall she will be holding more volunteer workdays in Dunn's Woods and extending the project to Latimer Woods, a ten acre woodland located behind college mall!

Volunteers are needed this fall to help with restoration efforts at these sites!!

The first volunteer workday will be this Tuesday, September 11th from 5:30 to 6:30pm in Dunn's Woods! Meet at the Herman B Wells Statue at 5:30 to participate!! Everyone is welcome, the work is not difficult (it's actually really fun!), and tools and gloves are provided. Bring water! 

This is a great opportunity to reconnect with nature, restore IU's campus, and meet new people! 

A complete list of workdays can be found here


For more information, or if you have any questions, contact Hayley Prihoda at 

About The Author
Katie MerkhoferAssistant Brand Manager

2016 update: I'm back!!

Why am I here? I stumbled across my old blog and thought - maybe there are others out there looking for some unfiltered professional advice. I am here to help! I will give you updates on life in the working world and how to handle life's challenges in the professional world. 

***Wow time really changes things doesn't it? I kept my former bio before as a reminder to always channel my inner student.

Former Bio from 2012:

My name is Katie Merkhofer and I am a senior at Indiana University Bloomington. I am currently perusing a major in marketing and a minor in German. I'm just your ordinary 21 year old from Cary, Illinois.

Although I spend most of my time in class, or doing class work, I am also the vice president of corporate relations and career development in the American Marketing Association Indiana University Chapter (IU AMA), in the marketing committee for the Kelley Retail Association (KRA), and I tutor for a finance course (Bus-F370).

One of my biggest passions is running. I have completed 6 half marathons! My favorite race was the Rock n' Roll half marathon in Las Vegas on my 21st birthday!

I can't wait to share my experiences at IU with you!

***Updates: I am now 25 and working in Brand Management living in Columbus,OH. I graduated in May 2013 with degrees in Marketing and International Business. I now spend most of my time at work, running or with my dog. I have now completed 12 half marathons and 2 full marathons!