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The College is managing forests on nearly 800 acres of Hamilton-owned land in order to enhance carbon sequestration and reforest open lands by planting carefully selected trees that thrive in the area.

What is Reforestation?

Reforestation on campus accelerates the ecological development of agricultural land and helps to preserve native species and biodiversity. The Land and Stewardship Plan seeks to:

  • Promote academic teaching/research opportunities

  • Maximize carbon storage and sequestration from our forests and open/agricultural lands

  • Protect and expand the health and diversity of native flora and fauna through reforestation, invasive species management, and appropriate silvicultural practices.

  • Facilitate low-impact recreation and wellness opportunities

  • Promote biodiversity and native wildlife populations

Management Strategies 

Hamilton’s 14 tracts of open and agricultural land mainly include those that are currently or were under agricultural lease with neighboring farms. The goal of reforestation on campus is to actively manage the land while considering research, biodiversity and sustainability goals. While all land under agricultural lease is under consideration for future reforestation, the Sustainability Office and Facilities Management is currently operating reforestation efforts on previously held agricultural lands on the Northeast side of campus (tract 5,6,11 and the golf course). Tract 11 is former agricultural land currently being managed through reforestation and tracts 5 and 6 are under current agricultural lease contracts.

Campus road tractsGolf Course Reforestation

Research

Several students are involved in reforestation projects and research alongside Hamilton faculty and staff. Numerous Hamilton courses take advantage of forests and open land to support hands-on learning in activities that are integral parts of the curriculum. Ongoing projects include:

  • Monitoring of tree species diversity 

  • Surveying wildlife communities (small mammal live-trapping)

  • Quantifying herbivory and seed predation

  • Measuring soil carbon in different land use 

  • Monitoring of carbon sequestration 

  • Measuring carbon, nitrogen, and methane cycling

  • Monitoring of water cycle and soil moisture

Existing Forests

Combined, all of Hamilton’s forested lands total 803.5 acres, with each forest further subdivided into individual management stands that are characteristically unique by geography, dominant tree species, density, age, and other factors. 

  • Some of Kirkland Glen’s most abundant trees include Sugar Maple, Eastern Hemlock, and Green Ash.

  • The Reservoir Forest most notably contains White Pine Plantation, White Spruce, and Northern Hardwood.

  • Roger’s Glen has the most buckthorn, and is mostly Eastern Hemlock, Sugar Maple, White Pine, and Red Pine.

Contact

Contact Name

Brian Hansen

Director of Environmental Protection, Safety and Sustainability

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