"Metahqua" is the Shawnee word for "tree", and was so named by the donor of this 234 acre nature preserve-Elizabeth Kitchen. The property was historically used for agriculture, and is now composed of upland hardwood forest, tall grass fields in the floodplain of Little Walnut Creek, a large pond, and a newly constructed wetland. Also on the property is a 100 year old schoolhouse that had been converted into a residence, which is occupied by the caretaker.
Ms. Kitchen’s love for the land is apparent as you walk the preserve and see the care that was taken to ensure a variety of habitat for wildlife. Signs of mink, muskrat, and beaver can be observed on the banks of Little Walnut Creek, and the tall grass fields are ‘singing’ grounds for woodcocks. Bobcats have been photographed here in recent years, and 141 species of birds have been recorded on the preserve thus far. Walking trails are maintained in the grassy fields near the parking area, and the Pawpaw trail meanders through both old fields and along the edges of fern filled ravines. Becky’s Pond is considered by some to be the most scenic pond in the county when the autumn leaves are showing their colors.