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Gambles Mill Eco-Corridor

Over the past two years, Gambles Mill Corridor and Little Westham Creek have undergone Eco-Corridor construction and stream restoration. This project is a prime example of campus stewardship that will improve the health of Little Westham Creek and the surrounding area for years to come.  

About the Eco-Corridor

This project includes four key components: construction of a multi-use recreational trail, removal of invasive plants, management of storm water, and restoration of Little Westham Creek.

Little Westham Creek and the land surrounding it perform critical functions in our watershed. Improvements made through the Eco-Corridor project align with a vision first described in the 2011 Campus Master Plan and is supported by our value of stewardship. The project also presents a tremendous opportunity for high impact educational practices. During the 2018-2019 academic year, the Bonner Center for Civic Engagement convened faculty to form an Eco-Corridor Think Tank, which resulted the area being integrated into future coursework for a number of classes.  Continued study of Little Westham Creek and the effects of its restoration are a prime example of engaged scholarship with potential to inform real-world practices. 

During the process of designing the Eco-Corridor, students, staff, faculty and community members were brought together to produce a shared vision for this 13-square-acre section of campus. Themes that emerged—including nature, community, reflection, education, and well-being—informed a master plan that detailed development of the Eco-Corridor. Based on those themes, the final design for the Gambles Mill Eco-Corridor includes the following features: 

• Restoration of Little Westham Creek
• Realignment and paving of 10-foot-wide Gambles Mill Trail with planting of shrubs, buffer trees, and ground cover along trail
• Creation of a meadow walk with native plantings, a woodland walk, and spaces for teaching outdoors
• Native trees, shrubs, perennials, seeding, and a seat wall at the wastewater remnant site
• Gates, bollards, and signage at the north and south ends of the trail
• New water line to the Community Garden with backflow preventer and three hose bibs
• Stormwater management demonstration areas, including a bio-swale, rain garden, and level spreaders
• Informal paths to the stream

Follow the Story of the Eco-Corridor

Click through the story map below to learn more about the history of Gambles Mill Corridor, the significance of stream restoration for Little Westham Creek, and some exciting features being incorporated into the new Eco-Corridor. View the map in a separate tab here


Goats & Invasive Plant Removal

The first phase of the Eco-Corridor construction was invasive plant removal. A herd of goats arrived on campus in April 2018 to help in this portion of the project. Though still novel, goat browsing is an increasingly common, environmentally-friendly landscape management practice that reduces need for herbicide and gas-powered equipment. An Anatolian Shepherd Dog was placed with the goats to protect them from any potential dangers posed by wildlife. 

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Goats at the Eco-Corridor