Christy Woods emphasizes native plants and native ecosystems of Indiana. The area serves as an outdoor laboratory for many university courses and local schools. The area offers opportunities for research in a variety of biological fields, and many research projects have been conducted on the premises.

Christy Woods is managed to function as an outdoor learning laboratory in support of the education mission of the Field Station and Environmental Education Center. Christy Woods also supports research by faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, and applied research intrinsic to the management of Christy Woods and other properties within the field station, and maintains an aesthetically pleasing display of plantings of native plant species.