History as Ecology Series with Conrad: 3. Wheels of Commerce 

Saturday, December 16, 2023 - 13:00 to 15:30

The third installment of History as Ecology: A Series of Walks (& a Workshop) Exploring the Traces of Past Land Use Visible in Today's Surroundings facilitated by Conrad Vispo

During the past 200 years, the County’s landscape has been used for extensive farming, as a framework for industry, and as a home for the people undertaking these activities. Aspects of that history are still visible as one walks the land. Join us as we visit a series of sites meant to introduce you to some of these traces, be they the age, shape and identity of forest trees; old foundations in the woods; or the 19th century layout of a village. We hope to mix natural history with human history in a way that might add another dimension to your regional walks. We’ll learn winter botany as we talk about trees and shrubs as indicators of past land use; we’ll sink our hands into clay banks; step over stone walls; and admire mysterious putting greens in the woods.

Sat., 16 December, 1 -3:30’ish pm: Wheels of commerce (Walk in the Village of Chatham).
This is the third instalment in the free History as Ecology series facilitated by Conrad Vispo of the Farmscape Ecology Program.

This walking tour will start with a visit to some of the 19th-century business fronts of Chatham and a consideration of how those activities linked to the larger landscape of that era; we will then walk along the edge of the Chatham train yard, discussing its surprising native biodiversity; and we will wrap up in the village park by Smith Pond, where ancient forest and the relics of the ice industry co-exist.

The round trip is a bit over two miles. In general, it’s an easy walk, but there are some ups and downs and slightly rough ground. As my approximate end time suggests, we might run a little late, but back-tracking should be easy if anybody needs to leave early. Please dress appropriately for the weather, we intend to be outside for the entire period and will likely be standing around a bit for discussions.

Please make sure to register for this free walk to reserve your space. We will provide registrants with location details and background information the week before the event. If you have any questions, please contact Conrad.


Sat., 20 January, 1-3pm: Tools of the trade (Workshop at the Creekhouse, Ghent).

Sat. 17 February, 1-3pm (tentative date): From earth to brick (Walk at the Greenport Conservation Area).