Written by Margie Brown, Natural and Cultural Resources Manager at Minute Man National Historical Park.
While walking in the forest is very restorative to our health, is the forest itself in good health? According to a recent ‘Forest Health Update’ by the National Park Service Northeast Temperate Network, Minute Man National Historical Park’s wooded areas are facing several challenges.
At the time of the 1775 battle, much of the park landscape had been cleared for agriculture. By the mid-1800s most farmers were moving west, and by the mid-1900s, the park area was dotted with suburban development in a regenerated forest landscape. While NPS has returned many developed areas to open fields and pastures, the park includes notable forest areas, such as the Vernal Pool area in Lincoln, which supports abundant animal and wetland plant species.
The recent ‘Forest Health Update’ points to deer browse, exotic pests and pathogens, and extreme temperature and drought as key challenges in preserving a healthy forest ecosystem.