One of the many ways that Berea College foresters practice being stewards of the land is by using sustainable forestry practices that include Silas Mason’s original vision of mixed age and worst-first harvesting. What this means is that trees that are dead or damaged are removed first to allow for more promising trees to grow to their full potential. The Forest is valued for all of the trees in it, rather than having specific, profitable trees be grown and clear cut.
These practices allowed for something very special to be found in the Berea College Forest. At a place called Plimoth Plantation, visitors can find a life-size replica of the Mayflower. To complete this replica, the crew needed at least 30 foot long white oak tree boards. They searched all of the world for this specific need before finding them in the Berea College Forest. The white oak here had been given the opportunity to grow tall and strong–to reach their full potential–providing enough lumber for use in the replica. The lumber was so long when cut that people from the Plimoth Plantation sent in a special crew to cut and harvest the lumber for the ship.
Now, the Mayflower II is still being restored and you can keep up with it’s progress by clicking here.