The SIUE Nature Preserve is a 380-acre expanse of natural area along the western edge of the campus between the campus core and along Stadium Drive and New Poag Road, includes Sweet William Woods, Whiteside Prairie and a corridor extending north along the bluff line, which provides ecological connectivity with Bohm Woods State Nature Preserve, adjacent to campus. Bohm Woods, managed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, is considered the best remaining example of mature oak-hickory forest in the region.
The area of the preserve is protected from development and is available for faculty and student research, lab projects, and educational opportunities. The preserve is unique in the region and will position SIUE faculty to compete for research funds. This faculty-led initiative will also facilitate inter-disciplinary collaboration and joint projects with other universities, research foundations, and government agencies. The preserve is initially set aside for 50 years to facilitate long-term research projects, and it is anticipated that extensions will last far into the future.