This map from 1890 shows the layout of our city. Parts of Centennial Woods were previously owned by C. Baxter Est., H. Stevens, Hickok Est., and the Ainsworth family. I assume that this land was used for agricultural purposes, and most likely the previous owners were wealthy.
Before this time, research shows that Centennial Woods was utilized by Native Americans for a variety of resources, and also for Euro-American settlement and land use. We can tell that this land was previously used for agricultural purposes because of the White Pines and the other woody species that are invading the once abundant grasses, milkweed, and other herbaceous plants. Earlier settlers used a plant called scouring rush that can still be found on the trails today. Scouring rush was used to polish sand wood and pewter, and it was also useful in scouring their pots and pans.
Although Centennial Woods is subject to city noise, pollution, and within close proximity to an airport, it has become a great natural escape for thousands of people over time. The University of Vermont bout this land in 1974, and has continuously provided many learning opportunities, and recreational activities to students and the public.
My final visit to my spot was great! A little cold outside, but definitely worth it! All of the leaves have floated down the stream, and the trees have become completely bare. The stream was flowing very slowly, and very little wind was blowing.
But the sun was shining, and it was a great day. The woods were quiet, and very peaceful. Birds were chirping and although I was not able to identify a specific species, I was pretty sure I heard a Wood Thrush!
Hopkins, G. M. Map of the city of Burlington, Vermont: from official records, private plans and actual surveys. Philadelphia, Pa.: G.M. Hopkins, 1890.
http://cdi.uvm.edu/collections/item/Burlington_Hopkins_1890 (accessed December 02, 2014)
UVM Libraries Research Guides: Centennial Woods Natural Area: History. (2016, March 7). Retrieved December 09, 2017, from http://researchguides.uvm.edu/c.php?g=290508&p=1935271
U. E. (n.d.). The Changing Landscapes of Centennial Woods Natural Area. Retrieved December 9, 2017, from http://www.uvm.edu/~uvmsc/Centennial%20Woods/Changing_Landscapes_Centennial_Woods002.pdf