UNCG Campus Weekly

Campus Weekly is published each Wednesday when classes are in session. In the summer, it is published biweekly.

75 volunteer to help keep Peabody Forest thriving

111616feature_peabodyforestOn the first Friday afternoon of November, members of the Peabody Park Preservation Committee (PPPC) and the Office of Sustainability held an ivy pull in the historic Peabody Park Woods, a 115-year old mixed hardwood forest behind UNCG’s Music Building and Cone, Grogan and Philips-Hawkins residence halls. Seventy-five were in attendance; many students, as well as alumni, staff and community members.

UNCG biologist and Peabody Park Preservation Committee (PPPC) chair Dr. Elizabeth Lacey led the pull, teaching the teams to look for different types of invasive plants, such as English ivy and bush honeysuckle. The goal was to remove the invasive species, to restore and maintain the woods as a forest characteristic of the North Carolina piedmont. Groundskeepers and PPPC members Kevin Siler, Wally Morales and others assisted with the event and in leading students. “It’s a good opportunity for students—they earn credit hours and learn something by getting their hands dirty,” Siler said. Locally prominent landscape architect, tree advocate and PPPC member Randal Romie also came to help.

The park’s forest contains a diverse group of tree species that range in size from young saplings to large canopy trees. It is also home to many animals, particularly birds. Two small creeks run through the park and empty into North Buffalo Creek, on the north side of Friendly Avenue. First established as 125-acre area, the park was envisioned as an educational space, and today it is still used by multiple departments. In the first fifty years, it hosted May Day festivals and even had a man-made lake where concerts and pageants were held.

The ivy pulls are conducted once each semester and have been going on for ten consecutive years. Dr. Lacey says that in restoring the forest, “progress is slow, but in the past few years we have begun to see the success of our efforts.” The Peabody Park Preservation Committee has been active since 1997 and, in 2010, received the Greensboro Beautiful annual service award.

More information about Peabody Park can be found on the website, https://peabodypark.uncg.edu/, or by contacting Dr. Elizabeth Lacey at eplacey@uncg.edu

By Susan Kirby-Smith
Photo by Susan Kirby-Smith, of Dr. Elizabeth Lacey speaking to volunteers