Centennial Woods is made up of 70 acres of diverse habitat, this includes mixed hardwoods, conifer stands along with streams, fields and wetland area. Located within Burlington it is right next to the UVM campus, being on of the most visited of UVM natural areas. Used for academic study, students in Environmental Studies, Botany, Zoology, Forestry, Recreation Management, and Education use this areas vast array of trails to look at the natural ecosystem and landscape features found here.

Looking into the history of Centennial Woods shows a complex history of different uses, through the time periods. Going back about 10,000 years the sandy soil that is found throughout the area can be traced back to the Champlain Sea. It was deposited from the delta of what would become the Winooski River. As the Abenaki were living by and along the Winooski River it can be assumed that they were in Centennial Woods pre-European settlement. The land was then  owned by C. Baxter Est., H. Stevens, Hickok Est. who most likely used the land for agricultural purposes. This would explain the barbed wire and stonewalls as well as similar aged trees. Although now the forest is one of the oldest in the area it still isn’t a old growth forest. The oldest parts of the forest, mostly the oldest pines, most likely started growing around the 1860’s after farms started to be abandoned. The land was officially designated a UVM Natural Area in April 1974.

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From the Natural Areas, University of Vermont a resolution of the Board of Trustees Marks the areas that became natural areas in 1974

Map of Centennial Woods from http://www.uvm.edu/~uvmsc/Centennial%20Woods/centennial_woods_trails.jpg

Map of Centennial Woods from http://www.uvm.edu/~uvmsc/Centennial%20Woods/centennial_woods_trails.jpg

An understanding of the natural world and what’s in it is a source of not only a great curiosity but great fulfillment.

-David Attenborough

 

Citations

Natural Areas, University of Vermont: a resolution of the Board of Trustees [PDF].University of Vermont Natural Areas. University of Vermont Environmental Program, http://www.uvm.edu/~uvmsc/Centennial%20Woods/UVM_Natural_Areas_1974001.pdf

The Changing Landscapes of Centennial Woods Natural Area: A Field Guide [PDF]. University of Vermont Natural Areas. University of Vermont Environmental Program, http://www.uvm.edu/~uvmsc/Centennial%20Woods/Changing_Landscapes_Centennial_Woods002.pdf.

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