By Rebekah Paulson, ex. director, Friends of Stadium Woods
The primary mission of Friends of Stadium Woods is to prevent development and seek permanent preservation of the rare old-growth predominantly white oak urban forest on the Virginia Tech campus. Stadium Woods merits celebration and protection as a historical and natural environmental resource. It is a rare urban example of an old-growth ecosystem with dozens of trees between the ages of 250 and 400 years, including three trees that were scientifically cored and dated.
Senator John Edwards, Friends of Stadium Woods and the university community are committed to seeking permanent preservation for the forest. We are hopeful that VA Tech President Timothy Sands, his administration and four new BOV members to be appointed in June by Governor Terry McAuliffe will breathe fresh life into the effort to permanently preserve the old-growth forest.
We remain confident that this unique living resource – a rare old-growth, predominantly white oak urban forest ecosystem – will one day be permanently preserved in perpetuity not only to survive, but also thrive. A crystal ball that peers into the policies of future administrations does not exist. University administrations and board of visitor members come and go, but the old-growth forest has existed for hundreds of years, and the community intends to see it properly protected forever to benefit our children, grandchildren and future generations of Hokies.