Shaw Nature Reserve, formerly known as Shaw Arboretum, is a 2,400 acres private nature reserve located in Gray Summit, Missouri, that is operated as an extension of the Missouri Botanical Garden.
The area was opened in 1925 when pollution from coal smoke in St. Louis threatened the garden’s live plant collection, especially the orchid collection. The orchids were moved in 1926, but the pollution in St. Louis decreased with waning use of coal for heat, making it unnecessary to move the rest of the live plant collection. The reserve is currently dedicated to environmental education, to the maintenance and restoration of the region’s native flora and fauna, and to public enjoyment of the natural world.
The nature reserve has several historic homes (including the Joseph H. Bascom House), a large prairie, and a large wetland blind from which herons can be observed. Over 14 miles of hiking trails run through the reserve. In addition, wheelchair-accessible trails and scenic routes run through the reserve.
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