Human History

Centennial Woods now exists as a recreational space for Burlington residents to use at their convenience. The 70-acre plot is also used for students to study natural processes and the ecology of Vermont woods. The trails are fairly well maintained and I assume that they are highly used as I rarely find myself totally alone there. I am not aware of the specific history of the land, but in general, I know that the area was first inhabited by the Abenaki tribe until white settlers pushed them out during the nineteenth century. Given the pattern of land use during this time, I would not be surprised if the plot where Centennial now exists was once cleared and used for agriculture before regenerating into a mature forest.

Centennial Woods area, circa 1890 –

My site, in particular, seems to be a spot for ongoing research. Every time I visit, I notice new markers with labels. It is an excellent spot to study both hardwoods and conifers, the stream, and the meadow. I think the beautiful area also attracts quite a few visitors as I often find small bits of litter.

I am really grateful to be a small piece in this lands long history. It is truly a gem and I look forward to continuing to build my relationship with it.