Located on 13-square-acres, the Eco-Corridor is an inviting space for campus and local community members to enjoy being outside. The Eco-Corridor houses a multi-use recreational trail, Abby’s Garden, two outdoor classrooms, and pollinator meadows with native grasses and flowers.

History and Restoration of the Eco-Corridor

The four key components of the Eco-Corridor’s renovation included 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 in 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. Aligning with those themes, the final design for the Eco-Corridor included the following features:

  • Restoration of Little Westham Creek
  • Realignment and paving of 10-foot-wide Eco-Corridor Trail with planting of shrubs, buffer trees, and ground cover along the trail
  • Creation of a pollinator 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 Abby's Garden with backflow preventer and three hose bibs
  • Stormwater management demonstration areas, including a bioswale, 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 Eco-Corridor, the significance of stream restoration for Little Westham Creek, and some exciting features that were incorporated into the renovated 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.

The goats have since visited campus two more times to clear out invasive species. An Anatolian Shepherd Dog is placed with the goats to protect them from any potential dangers posed by wildlife.