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Aug 17, 2012

In the woods

Breaking with the bad habit of eating over keyboard, I went out for a walk on campus. We are about to dive head on into the new school year. Many are trying to do something to clear their heads a little, to reset the emotional clock. So I ended up on a dirt utility road behind the Anchorman field. Someone has made a little path that starts at the back entrance to the Field. I am pretty sure some adventurous students did, because right now it is overgrown and thorny. There is some trash, but not much at all. I did walk through though, and met a young family of wild turkeys: a graceful mom and four awkward adolescent chicks. They were not particularly scared, but neither did they want to talk. We nodded and went our separate ways. It was so quiet, I could hear their footsteps.

I like forests, always have. It gives me this particular sense of solitude without the self-absorption. The forest is a whole world. It will let you in, but is too busy to care about you. The forest can be counted on to quiet down the noisy lists of things to worry about.

This little wooded patch could be a lovely little reprieve space for our campus; just imagine a short walk through the woods in the middle of a day. I am not sure who the land belongs to – not to RIC, judging from the maps. But I just wonder if people who live on Fruit Hill and on Belcourt Avenues would like to share with us a few paths through the woods in their backyards.

As I stare at the list of projects, THAT would be a fun project to add on. All it would take is a truckload of wood chips, and a few volunteers with hand tools. And we would need one person who understands water flows and walking paths. I image a warm September Saturday, a few faculty and students show up with shovels, saws, and wheelbarrows. We cut some bushes, throw some wood chips on the ground, rake them, and voila, we have our own little forest path! Not a park, not anything formal, no ribbon cuttings, please! - just a little path through the woods. Of course, we’d need to start with finding the owner, getting RIC and neighbors on board…

Any one wants to do this with me? A FSEHD Woods exploratory committee? Something tells me this is perhaps what we need the most.


  1. Anonymous1:05 PM

    Don't get me started.
    That idea was presented and kicked around with grant proposals and met with a quiet unfulfilled end.

  2. I will gladly serve on the FSEHD Woods exploratory committee! Love the idea and I'm a resident of Fruit Hill/Manton. I need walks and spaces in the woods, too. Thanks for a lovely idea to start the year.