UNH's Woodland Classroom
Contact: Mary Peterson
University Relations and UNH Foundation
Sept. 17, 2003
DURHAM, N.H. – For four decades, while he was teaching
forest biometrics and management, Prof. James Barrett regularly
visited the University of New Hampshire’s College Woods.
He started his day there with morning walks, and he brought students
from his classes to learn about forest ecology. He found College
Woods to be an endlessly enriching living laboratory. And now
College Woods has found a generous benefactor in Barrett.
The UNH Foundation has received a gift from Barrett, professor
emeritus, and his wife, Juddie Barrett, to establish the College
Woods Scholarship Fund. The scholarship provides financial help
to a student in natural resources and recognizes the value of College
Woods, East Foss Farm and other UNH woodlands, all of which play
a critical role in the education of UNH students.
The scholarship also is an expression of thanks for woodland walks
and many rewarding days teaching students about forestry and natural
Barrett’s gift encourages the university to protect and
treasure the woods. “College Woods is a living library for
education and research that did not cost a penny to build,” he
says. “It’s a protected water supply; a place to walk,
jog and cross-country ski; and a quiet place of beauty for reflective
thinking. This is the only campus I know of where you can take
a five-to 10-minute walk to such a wonderful natural resource.”
It just makes common sense that learning about the natural world
is essential to a meaningful education, Barrett says. “Our
woodlands are nearby classrooms and should be protected. College
Woods offers opportunities for both a liberal and a scientific
Located on the west side of campus, College Woods comprises approximately
250 acres of woods, streams, and small fields. It is the oldest
and most intensively used university property for outdoor activities.
Some 60 acres within the main woods area was designated as a Natural
Area, in a preservation status, in 1961. The original land was
donated by Benjamin Thompson Jr. to New Hampshire College of Agriculture
and the Mechanic Arts (as the university was then called) via his
will in 1891.
“First it was pasture and then white pine,” Barrett
says. “Then the 1938 hurricane took down a lot of trees.
That happened again with a hurricane in 1956. There's a silty clay
soil that’s really the best for the original trees—birch,
beech and maple—and College Woods is going back to that type
of forest now, the forest it was before the Europeans came here.”
For more information about the College Woods Scholarship, contact
the UNH Foundation at (603) 862-2570.