Start Date

19-11-2021 1:15 PM

End Date

19-11-2021 1:45 PM

Description

My personal acquaintance with the woods started when I interviewed in the spring of 1979, when the false Solomon’s seals were in full bloom. Since then, I have been in the woods on more than a thousand separate days. I am fascinated to learn more about it each time I visit and to monitor its changes over the course of a day, from day to day, season to season, year to year and decade to decade. In my talk I acknowledge longer changes, such as the regrowth after glacial retreat and likely changes over the last 10,000 yrs due to variations in the climate and in the impacts of Native Americans. Closer to our time, the woods, like much of Ohio, mostly was converted to agriculture during the 1800s, existed as small remnants during the early 1900s then grew as farmland was abandoned following WWII. Most of this talk covers changes in the woods associated with WSU. I documented with aerial photos, some data, and personal recollections how the growth of the campus interacted with the woods. The older sections of woods have had relatively little direct impact. One large section of land formerly in agriculture has converted itself back to woods. The land surrounding the woods mostly went from agriculture to young forest to development into campus buildings, apartments, parking and sports facilities. The one building set in the middle of the woods, the Rockafield House, fell into disrepair and has been removed. Only the nearby cemetery remains. Other uses of the woods usually respect its value. Such uses include trails, campus rec activities (most recently a disc course), ROTC training, and art projects. Today, the campus woods are a continuing haven for many plant and animal species.


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Nov 19th, 1:15 PM Nov 19th, 1:45 PM

Personal Perspectives on the Ever-Changing WSU Woods

My personal acquaintance with the woods started when I interviewed in the spring of 1979, when the false Solomon’s seals were in full bloom. Since then, I have been in the woods on more than a thousand separate days. I am fascinated to learn more about it each time I visit and to monitor its changes over the course of a day, from day to day, season to season, year to year and decade to decade. In my talk I acknowledge longer changes, such as the regrowth after glacial retreat and likely changes over the last 10,000 yrs due to variations in the climate and in the impacts of Native Americans. Closer to our time, the woods, like much of Ohio, mostly was converted to agriculture during the 1800s, existed as small remnants during the early 1900s then grew as farmland was abandoned following WWII. Most of this talk covers changes in the woods associated with WSU. I documented with aerial photos, some data, and personal recollections how the growth of the campus interacted with the woods. The older sections of woods have had relatively little direct impact. One large section of land formerly in agriculture has converted itself back to woods. The land surrounding the woods mostly went from agriculture to young forest to development into campus buildings, apartments, parking and sports facilities. The one building set in the middle of the woods, the Rockafield House, fell into disrepair and has been removed. Only the nearby cemetery remains. Other uses of the woods usually respect its value. Such uses include trails, campus rec activities (most recently a disc course), ROTC training, and art projects. Today, the campus woods are a continuing haven for many plant and animal species.