Susquehanna Permaculture’s Journal publishes articles & essays written by members, friends, students, & colleagues.
If you’d like to submit a piece, please contact me with your suggestion. I’d be glad to hear from you.
The entries in the journal are edited by Benjamin Weiss.
ReWilding Notes: Throughout 2016, Benjamin Weiss published notes from his field journal that detailed his ongoing experiments with rewilding & his development of the Rewilding Design System. All of Ben’s rewilding efforts were conducted “guerilla” style in semi-wild areas that are forgotten or neglected. Ben didn’t want to reveal the locations of his projects in his notes in order to protect the wildlife & landscapes in which he worked, & to protect himself from legal issues. He refered to these locations with false names for the sake of clarity & continuity for his readers.
His notes referenced the following locations:
100AcreWood: A 40-50 acre semi-wild woodland spanning the flood plain and hill along
the edge of a small river. The woods and waters here are terribly polluted and neglected, filled with old trash and refuse. Ben has rarely seen another human in these woods over the course of half a decade of exploration. In the woods, the flora is an eclectic mix of native and non-native species. This tract is large enough to contain several varied ecosystems including plant communities that represent different ages of woodland, from small meadows, to several stands of mature oak, tulip poplar, and sycamore. Most of the forest, however, is dominated by early succession tree species such as mulberry, hackberry, black locust, and box elder. These woods are home to many animals including mink, as well as a large deer heard whose trails are the only viable path through the dense underbrush.
Penninsula: A roughly 40 acre mature woodland bounded on 3 sides by a heavily polluted creek. Terrain rises sharply from a wide flood plain upward to a narrow plateau midway between the horseshoe bend of the creek. Penninsula is an area of relatively old forest dominated by white ash & sugar maple, with stands of sycamore, tulip poplar, & black walnut. The soil in the forest is very mature & fertile, and supports a rare diversity of native forbs & herbaceaous plants on the forest floor. On the floodplain, however, there are many non-native plants and poor management of trails leading to severe erosion. Foot traffic here is heavy on many trails and a gravel driveway that stretches through the middle of the tract. Nonetheless there is plentiful wildlife, especially birds and rodents, though at least several deer herds frequent these woods.
HiddenValley: A roughly 35 acre mature woodland in a secluded valley with a cold-water
stream running through its midst. The trees here are mature, mostly late succession species such as beech and white oak, also with stands of black birch at higher elevations, and chestnut oak on the hilltops. The forest floor is teeming with rare, native, deep-forest herbs and shrubs, mosses and ferns. Foot traffic here is very sparse because the trail leading in quickly disappears. Wild life is abundant, and the water is very clean.
AnvilBend: A several acre flood plain; a “wet woodland” on the bank of a cold-water creek. This area is fairly undisturbed by human activity and features many sensitive native plant species. We use this primarily as an area to ethically source wild specimens for transplant into rewilding plots elsewhere.
MossBluff: A deep glen, or woodlnd valley, with a creek flowing through it and steep, moist hillsides. Most of the woods here are very mature, some old growth. Rare woodland plant species here are very abundant. Similarly to HiddenValley: “the trees here are mature, mostly late succession species such as beech and white oak, also with stands of black birch at higher elevations, and chestnut oak on the hilltops. The forest floor is teeming with rare, native, deep-forest herbs and shrubs, mosses and ferns.” I take great care in places like this to be excessively gentle to the land, flora, & fauna. This area is more than 20 miles south of my rewilding patches.