Cleveland Museum of Natural History--Perkins Woods Garden

Cleveland Museum of Natural History--Perkins Woods Garden

1 Wade Oval Drive Cleveland, Ohio 44106

Cleveland Museum of Natural History webpage

About this Location

The two-acre Perkins Woods Garden on the eastern side of the Natural History Museum contains canopy remnants of three forest types, Oak-Chestnut Forest, Hemlock Northern Hardwood Forest, and Mixed Mesophytic Forest. The forest and the Museum sit along the northern edge of a unique geological feature, the Lake Warren Beach Ridge. The beach ridge formed along glacial Lake Warren, a fore-runner to modern Lake Erie. The elevation of Lake Warren is approximately 100 feet higher than Lake Erie. Large tulip trees, a distinctive member of the Mixed Mesophytic Forest Community are the dominant members of the forest canopy; however, there are several black oaks along the southeastern side of the forest. The three forest types represented within the Woods Garden Forest are the same as those present at the North Kingsville Sand Barrens and Cathedral Woods in Ashtabula County, 65 miles east of the Museum.

The Museum’s exhibits and galleries don’t stop when you leave the building. Step outside to the Ralph Perkins II Wildlife Center and Woods Garden or the Thelma and Kent H. Smith Environmental Courtyard to see native Ohio plants and animals!

We’ve come to think of this 2.2-acre outdoor gallery as the Museum’s backyard. See bald eagles, owls, deer, foxes, otters, bobcats, a coyote and other northeast Ohio animals in enclosures designed to resemble their natural habitats. Beneath a canopy of tulip, oak, beech and maple trees grow plants that belong to several of Ohio’s native natural communities—swamp forest, shrub forest, fossil and sand ridge, rich mixed forest, emergent marsh and buckeye opening.

Discover the stories behind our wild residents—some are tales of near extinction and survival by human intervention, while others are of adaptation to life near humans and success to the point of overabundance. Together, they deliver a powerful lesson in conservation, ecology, and biology. If you’re interested in helping our animal residents, find out more about our Wildlife Wish List. You can even adopt your very own “wild child”!

Visitors can access Perkins through a glass-enclosed exhibit space off of Kirtland Hall. Heated, paved pathways enhance accessibility for guests using strollers or wheelchairs.

Accessible parking and trails.

Restrooms on site.

Entrance fee may apply.

Content from Cleveland Museum of Natural History webpage