Monday, November 14, 2011
Big Changes Come to a Hidden Valley
Why would anyone want to remake a stream? After a hundred or two years of flash floods caused by all the impervious surface on campus, the stream channel had eroded the ground around it, and was threatening to undercut Washington Road (beyond the green fence on the right) if nothing was done.
post one year ago when members of the Princeton Environmental Commission were given a tour of the proposed project.
Time will tell if the trees that were saved will survive all the disturbance around them. Tree roots are very sensitive. And the carefully designed channel is not necessarily immune from the powerful erosive forces of repeated floods.
One useful pursuit at this point would be to study the rings of the fallen trees to see what they might tell us of Princeton's past.
I had also encouraged them to remove the Norway Maples (mottled green/yellow in this photo and next) that have invaded the valley, since the invasive maples are competing with the old growth natives, and their dense shade will threaten the newly planted natives over time.
This long-sheltered space, with so many stories to tell of past centuries, is beginning a new chapter worth reading.