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Skidmore College

Campus and community invited to North Woods Service Day

December 20, 2012

Campus and community invited to North Woods Service Day

October 5, 2012

Skidmore College's North Woods, a large tract of forested land located directly north of the main campus and available for public use, will be the focus of a community service day on Saturday, Oct. 13. The event will bring local residents together with Skidmore students, faculty, and staff to help with trail maintenance, clean up, and erosion control.

Volunteers will meet at 10 a.m. at the Falstaff's building on the Skidmore campus. The first phase of the work will run until noon, at which time lunch will be provided. Projects will then continue into the afternoon.

Participants should dress appropriately, with long pants, boots, and work gloves. Those interested in volunteering should register by Wednesday, Oct. 10, by contacting Riley Neugebauer, sustainability coordinator at Skidmore, 518-580-5865,

North Woods
Ecologist and author Thomas Wessels leads
SSCC members on a North Woods walk.

Some of the projects will be led by the recently created Skidmore Student Conservation Corps (SSCC), part of an independent study program at the college. The group of six students, recruited by the Sustainable Skidmore office and the Environmental Studies Program last spring, returned early to campus this fall to complete training on land use and conservation. The training included hands-on trail projects at the Wilton Wildlife Preserve and Park, Saratoga PLAN's Bog Meadow Preserve site, and Skidmore's North Woods. The SSCC will continue to work on projects, both on campus and within the community.

Neugebauer explained the formation of the SCCC: "We have a living laboratory in the North Woods, and we wanted to make sure we were using it to its fullest as a learning opportunity for our students. They acquire practical skills and at the same time support our work on the trails, helping to make the North Woods a more useable space."  Neugebauer said that program participants learn techniques useful for careers in sustainability and conservation.

In addition, Skidmore hires student employees as North Woods stewards during the summer and the academic year. These students assist with trail maintenance, invasive species removal, mapping, education, and conservation advocacy.

Skidmore's North Woods property is home to numerous native species, including migrating songbirds and 33 types of ferns. With southern oak, hickory, and northern hardwoods as well as ponds and marshes, the woods support a biologically diverse animal and plant population that is important to faculty and student research. Much of the area is available for public use, but please remember to keep your dogs on a leash. 

For more information on the North Woods, click here.  

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