Reforestation at Hunsberger Woods continues
Students in Dr. Hurley’s ENV 338 Forests and People led a reforestation effort in Hunsberger Woods on Friday, October 28th and Saturday, October 29th. As part of the course’s civic engagement focus, students learned about proper tree planting techniques from staff of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. Once in the field, the students from the Forests class worked with students from ENV 100, members of the women’s lacrosse team, and others to plant 35 native tree and 15 native shrub species in the upper meadow of Hunsberger Woods, a 27-acre open space area owned by the Borough of Collegeville.
The reforestation effort is part of ongoing stewardship efforts by the Department of Environmental Studies at Hunsberger and in collaboration with the Borough. This specific planting implements a recommendation of the recently revised open space stewardship plan, developed by students in Professor Rich Wallace’s Land Ethic course. Zach Birch, a student in the Land Ethic class whose work developed this recommendation, coordinated the planning and implementation of the on-the-ground tree planting efforts by his fellow Forests classmates and students from the College.
Reforestation efforts at Hunsberger Woods, including this recent tree planting, have been supported by generous funding from the Tree Vitalize Watersheds program, supported through technical assistance by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and the Montgomery County Conservation District, and contribute to the Plant One Million program’s efforts to maintain and expanse forest canopy in the Philadelphia Metropolitan area. In helping with these efforts, Ursinus students in multiple courses learn about the key ecosystem service benefits that trees and shrubs provide, along with key lessons about the complexity of land management and stewardship.