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ESF’s Miniature Northern Hardwood Forest Gets a Lift

Physical plant staff makes improvements through summer

Alex Zamojski, a conservation biology major, takes a break in the Northern Hardwood Forest restoration site during his first day of classes.

The on-campus Northern Hardwood Forest Restoration area, planted more than 20 years ago by a group of ESF graduate students, underwent some site improvement work this summer.

The 36'x36' plot on the north end of Moon Library was enhanced with a new path bordered by logs from ESF's Heiberg Forest and lined with wood chips from the College's willow biomass project. Benches were sanded and repainted, invasive species were removed and the interpretive sign was refurbished. Plans call for more native forest plants to be added in the future.

This area was originally planted in May 1997as part of Dr. Donald J. Leopold's Restoration of Northern Hardwood Forests seminar. The graduate seminar convened to discuss ways of restoring the abiotic and biotic components, and ecological processes within northern hardwood forests, a type of forest in the Northeast that is dominated by deciduous tree species such as sugar maple, American beech and yellow birch. The goal was to create a functioning, self-sustaining snapshot of this ecologically and economically important forest type.

The staff of the Office of Facilities Operations and Services was instrumental in making the improvements. Members of the ESF campus community are encouraged to enjoy this cherished space and observe some simple rules - no smoking, littering, foraging or walking off the path.