Shaw Nature Reserve, formerly known as Shaw Arboretum, is a 2,400 acres (9.7 km2) private nature reserve located in Villa Ridge, 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 (23 km) of hiking trails run through the reserve. In addition, wheelchair-accessible trails and scenic routes run through the reserve.
Shaw Nature Reserve is open year round from 7a.m. till sunset. Visitor Center hours are 8 to 4:30 on weekdays and 9 to 5 on weekends. Shaw Nature Reserve is open to hikers every day, but the Visitor Center is closed on some major holidays. No pets are allowed on the grounds. No reservations are required except in the case of an organized tour and for those wishing to participate in an education program.
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