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Environment

Stadium Woods Stewardship

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A plan is in the works for the future of an old growth forest on the Virginia Tech Campus known as Stadium Woods.  Advocates are pleased, but remain concerned about exactly what that plan will look like.

The 300 year old remnant of a white Oak forest, today known as Stadium Woods, is sandwiched between Lane Stadium and other campus buildings and this has seemed to pit two passions against each other; the enthusiasm for sports and the high traffic that goes with it -- and the fervor to preserve what may be the only forest of its kind in the country, albeit a tiny one.

In a news release this morning, Virginia Tech announced, a meeting set for his afternoon at 5pm that aims to involve the public in its new stewardship plan for Stadium Woods.  Not a lot of notice for community activists who have long fought for its preservation.  More meetings are planned before the stewardship guide is finalized in 2016 and local advocates are glad university experts and others will put their heads together to come up with a plan for the forest’s future.

"This is fabulous and we want the woods to be managed properly and have a proper stewardship plan, but that could change in the blink of an eye if there is not some sort of preservation vehicle in place to protect the woods in the future," says Rebekah Paulson, Executive Director of Friends of Stadium Woods.

"And not only preserved but celebrated. I mean this is something that is unique for Virginia Tech that no other university on the east coast, or as far as we know, anywhere has on their central campus. An old growth forest remnant that can and is used for education, research, you know, we hope that this is going to help highlight to the university and the community, to the entire Hokie nation that we have this incredible treasure."

In past discussions, the university has not agreed to preserve the forest in perpetuity, but according to the news release, the collaborative plan will identify strategies for use and enjoyment of the woods while maintaining its health.

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