The Hartsbrook School

High School Service Learning Week ~ Trail Blazing and Place Naming

A group of ten students from grades 9-12 spent three days clearing trails in the pine stand and in the triangle woodlot. On Thursday we visited lower school parent Todd Lynch at his home in Williamsburg to hear about the history of his area and see his land art installation at the neighboring Graves Farm Wildlife Sanctuary. We read and discussed an article from the New York Times, called “Learn a River’s Name Before It’s Gone”.  Place names can reflect local culture and traditions or reference a particular story.  We considered the different names of locations on our campus.  High school students refer to the aspen forest at the back corner of the property as the “Dingle,” while younger students call the same area “Silver Wood.”  The stream in this forest is called the “Hartsbrook” on town maps—as opposed to the Hartsbrook 2 branch that we cross to reach Nibble Hill Field— while the younger children refer to this branch as “Raccoon Brook.”  Our group was largely in agreement that the Drier Fields would best be referred to as “The Kestrel Fields” in recognition of our efforts to assist this smallest member of the falcon family.  Distinguishing the branches of the Hartsbrook would allow community members to communicate and connect with more specific locations on campus.  We considered “Classroom Creek” for the branch which runs by the forest classroom and “Green Frog Run” for the branch between the Knoll marsh and the Pinestand.  The branch of the creek between Nibble Hill Field and the Pinestand could continue to carry the name Hartsbrook.  This is one of the longest branches of the brook on our property, and a wildlife camera caught footage of a young, male deer, or “hart” crossing this branch last summer.

Alex Workman, High School Biology
Nicole Thurrell, Wilderness and Wellness

There were a ton of prickers along the entrance to the pine stand and it was very satisfying to get rid of them. ~Alex, 12th grade

I enjoyed listening to Todd talk about the history of the farm and hearing about the tools that inspired his art piece. Also, I really enjoyed seeing and crossing all the different streams and seeing the area where they came together. ~Parker, 11th grade

It was cool how Todd knew so much about the history of the woods. There was an interesting naming system for the streams. ~Fynn, 12th grade