The UMass Dartmouth campus is home to one of the largest contiguous forests in the area. At over 705 acres, the multi-aged habitat provides a tremendous opportunity for land conservation and a large Living Classroom for educational endeavors.
The forest is located in northeast Dartmouth, MA, approximately 1.5 miles west of the New Bedford town line. The forest is comprised of three main blocks:
- North Block - 50.5 acres
- South Block - 307.4 acres
- Cedar Dell Block - 40.2 acres
Charged with the responsibility to protect this valuable resource, the university strives to enhance the health of the forest, conserve the quality of timber products, preserve scenic beauty, protect water quality, promote the unique and cultural values of the forest, and develop educational resources for students and community members.
The university believes its Living Classroom should be enhanced and maintained because of its value to wildlife and to promote long-term goals in forest management.
The Living Classroom project goes beyond natural habitats, however, to include studies of manmade structures on campus and how to make them more sustainable. Faculty in the natural and physical sciences, plus policy, business, and graphic design are involved in developing studies and signage that make the entire campus a place of learning about human interactions with land and energy.