Skip to main content

History of the Crum Woods Stewardship Committee

Crum Woods Trail

The Crum Woods Stewardship Committee was formed by Provost Jennie Keith in October, 2000 as an ad-hoc committee of faculty, students, and administrators. In December, 2000, the committee established the following goal statement: "Our goal is to create a protection, restoration, and stewardship plan for Crum Woods. The planning effort will begin with an evaluation of biodiversity, teaching and recreational resources in the context of the College's educational mission and its commitment to social responsibility. The committee will develop the plan in collaboration with College faculty, staff, and students as well as stakeholders in surrounding communities, and will engage the services of professional experts."

During the spring of 2001, a request for proposals was developed to solicit professional assistance in performing an inventory of ecological resources and developing a conservation and stewardship plan for Crum Woods. Proposals were received from several different consulting firms. The committee selected a team consisting of Natural Lands Trust and Continental Conservation (a company formed recently by Swarthmore alumnus and former faculty member Roger Latham). The study was conducted over a two year period, and it benefited from substantial input from the College community and review by the Committee. The consultants' report [pdf] was completed in December 2003. The report contains much valuable information of a scientific and historic nature on the past and current state of the College's properties in the Crum Creek valley. This information will be available to guide future decisions regarding management of these properties. The report also provides the consultants' recommendations regarding many management issues such as response to threats that could reduce the forest and wildlife habitat integrity, recreational use, institutional oversight and management infrastructure, and many others. Although the Committee provided guidance to the consultants regarding the kinds of recommendations we desired, the recommendations in this report are those of the consultants themselves and are not necessarily endorsed by the Committee.

The Committee met regularly during Spring 2004 to discuss the issues raised by the report and to develop its own recommendations regarding many of the issues raised in the report, particularly regarding the policies and procedures that the College should adopt to assure effective stewardship of the woods and the creek. A public presentation and discussion was held in May 2004 where a construtive dialog was begun between the committee and the broader community of users of the woods.

The ad-hoc committee completed its work in May 2004 and submitted its final report to the Provost containing its recommendations. This report was released in September, 2004 and is available online through the link below:

Ad-hoc Crum Woods stewardship committee final report [pdf]