The Friends of Herrontown Woods and other stewards of natural lands in Princeton have been asked to give input to the state bike/ped office and the Federal Highway Administration about trail resilience in these times of rapid change. I decided to put my feedback into a blog post. We steward trails at Herrontown Woods and Autumn Hill Reservation in Princeton, NJ--about 220 acres total. Fit into the categories we were asked to address, here is some of what we've learned over time:Trail vulnerability and resilience to natural hazards
Use of trails during emergencies (evacuation routes, emergency vehicle access, fire suppression, etc.)
We invited the the local rescue squad to do a practice rescue in our preserve. It was very helpful in acquainting them with the lay of the land. We also showed them areas where accidents could potentially happen, and are working on a better map of the preserve showing access points.
Use of recreational trails during public health emergencies
Nature has served as an indispensable balm, refuge, and recreational outlet for people during the pandemic. The pandemic has made nature preserves ideal for those who love not only plants and wildlife, but socializing safely with people as well.