Centennial woods is 70 acres of woods that was designated a natural area by UVM in 1974. This area has a long history before being part of UVM’s campus but now it is a place for students and the community to enjoy. Nature and culture have intertwined in many ways to form Centennial woods, they have not always been as luscious as they are now, it even once was farmland. Nature and Culture are able to intertwine at centennial woods when the Burlington community and students are able to use it as a place for walking, birding, and other recreational activities as well as for educational reasons. The last time I was in my spot there was a large overturned tree that roots made ‘a natural wall’. it looked like there had been someone using it as a shelter because there was lots of trash and some evidence of drug use, so not all uses of the woods are positive but it is also a representation of Burlington’s population.
I remember at the beginning of my time at UVM I was taken to Centennial Woods with my NR-15 class and we found ‘sit spots’ and were instructed to write about why we came to UVM and how we were feeling. It was maybe the second week and I remember feeling so absolutely lost and scared being at college and not having real friends after leaving my childhood best friends, but when sitting in the woods journaling I felt very at peace and optimistic. Every time that I go into the woods to check on my spot, no matter how stressed or sad I might be, I always feel at peace and more centered after my visit. I consider myself part of my place in the sense that I am a student who utilizes the woods and has a connection to a specific area. Without this blog, I would have never gone to Centennial Woods as much as I did and I am thankful that I found a sense of place in these woods of Vermont.