Since 2011, I have been the director of the Fern Valley Field Station, the College of Wooster’s outdoor learning laboratory. This 56-acre property was generously donated to the College by David and Betty Wilkin. Most of the property is forested, however, there is a large field (about 12 acres) that formerly was used for grazing cattle. Currently, this old field is dominated by goldenrod. This past May, we officially started an effort to turn this old field back into a forest by transplanting native tree species into the field.
With protection from white-tailed deer and other herbivores with the plastic tubes, hopefully the trees will grow rapidly and begin to turn this field into a young forest (if they can survive the summer heat). We will be tracking the changes that occur as that process unfolds. Thanks to Oria Daugherty (’21) and Caden Croft (’21) for pitching in. Check out the Fern Valley website to learn more!