Call for Volunteer Bloggers!

Have you visited the Forestry Outreach Center, attended a recent event, or hiked the Pinnacles lately? Do you have a story to share about an experience in the Berea College Forest, past or present? Can you provide insight into the flora, fauna, or history of College Forest lands? If so, we invite you to consider volunteering to contribute to this website as a guest blogger! Submit your post, including a photo or two, if possible, to Ashley Mike at Ashley_mike@berea.edu . We hope to be reading your story on this site very soon!  

by Jay Buckner

If a Tree Falls…

by Trent Powell

“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

Of course! But even if people were around to hear it, they would never be able to understand what the tree was saying. Peter Wohlleben, forester and author of “The Hidden Life of Trees”, discovered that trees, much like many other living organisms, have a way of communicating with one another.

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Neuroscience in Nature

Civilization grows at an exponential rate, and our technologies and influence over the Earth is ever evolving. It is astounding how different things were 100, 50, even 25 years ago. One large difference is our shift towards the comforts of living indoors, not just as a country, but as a society. In fact, as of around 2008, the majority of the world’s population (and 54% as of 2014) lived in urban areas. This is the first time in the history of the world that this has happened (UN 2014).

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Breathing Too Loudly

I don’t want anyone to hear me breathe too loudly.

This is the thought that held me back from hiking for so many years. That held me back from doing quite a bit of things, really. It is no secret that walking uphill causes a person to breathe more heavily, but imagine for a moment, that you believe to do so–to breathe heavily–is wrong.

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10 Wonderful Words about Nature and Pictures at the Pinnacles

I am convinced that language is the most fascinating aspect of anthropological study. We can study a culture’s words and oral customs and make inferences about that culture’s historic development and daily rituals. A language (and its numerous dialects) provides insight into what is prominent in the lives of its speakers. Words that describe very specific feelings or images are particularly intriguing; I try to imagine the origins of these words, the people that first spoke them, and what the word looked like when they were adopted.

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Taking Nature for Granted

I have always been amazed at how we do not know what we are missing until we take the leap of faith and try out new things.

As humans, we always go for the easier route, the comfortable one. We do not like to try things that take us out of our comfort zone, but once we do, we are always left in awe and wonder.

My name is Aloyce Riziki. I was born and raised in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. I am currently a rising junior at Berea College and for the first part of my summer, I am working at the Berea College Forestry Outreach Center.

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Winter Tree Identification

On March 3rd…

we were joined by Dr. Sarah Hall, Chair of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department at Berea College, for a winter tree identification session–the first of many themed Saturday hikes. An inter-generational crowd gathered in front of the Center anxiously awaiting Dr. Hall to begin. Our slow walk began at the base of the trails where Dr. Hall started by teaching us about shagbark hickory (Carya ovata). Its distinct shaggy, peeling bark is easily recognizable, but comparable to shellbark hickory (Carya laciniosa), where the differences lie in the shape of the nut.

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Documentary Dialogues: NERVE

The logo for NERVE

Twenty-five community members gathered at the Berea College Forestry Outreach Center January 18th for the first in a series of Documentary Dialogues, to be held the 3rd Thursday of each month.  Many thanks to Nina Verin, a Friends of the Forest Volunteer who coordinates this event. This month’s offering was NERVE, a film created to highlight the work of the Kentucky Environmental Foundation. The dialogue that followed was led by two of the people featured in the film, Craig Williams and Deborah Payne. We are most grateful for their generosity in spending this time with us. 

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Saturday Community Hikes

A group of Berea College students, staff, and community members gathered Saturday, January 20th, to celebrate the return of warmer weather as we hiked together at the Pinnacles. We met at the Forestry Outreach Center at 12:30, divided into groups to accommodate hikers’ interests and needs, and made our way on trails along the roadside or up to various Pinnacles. Some of the people gathered had never hiked at the Pinnacles before, while others were quite familiar with the trails. 

A portion of the group that hiked on January 20th.

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