Briarwood is the birthplace and home of Caroline Dormon, the “mother of the Kisatchie National Forest.” Dormon was a world-renowned naturalist, author, artist, and the first woman to be hired into the United States Forest Service.
In 1917, Caroline Dormon and her sister, Virginia, built a home on the family estate, Briarwood, near Saline, Louisiana. This home was soon the center of native plant activity in the state. Botanists came to visit and learned new and rare plants. Within a few years, Dormon had the state’s largest collection of rare native plants.
Dormon turned her beloved Briarwood over to a non-profit foundation in 1971. With the feeling that most of her battles were won and that the torch had been passed to another generation, she died on November 23, 1971, at the age of 83. Today, the Briarwood Nature Preserve carries on her work by protecting wildlife, native flowers and critical habitat, and by educating the public.