Prospect Hill Forest Monitoring

Prospect Hill, formerly known as Goodnow Park, was an open field around the end of the 19th century, when it was acquired by Mount Holyoke. The transformation of this land began in 1882, when trees were planted according to the plan prepared by the landscape architect Ernest W. Bowditch from Boston. A great variety of trees were planted, among others: Austrian and Scotch pines, Norway, Oriental and Englemann’s spruces, many kinds of oaks, individual specimens of Western catalpa, Kentucky coffeetree, and Cucumber tree. The most numerous were pine, oak, larch, beech, birch, spruce, and hornbeam. Later, around 1910, the park was neglected and the hill became increasingly forested. In 1991, Hurricane Bob, a category 2 with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph, hit western Massachusetts and Prospect Hill. The major tree blow-down was observed on the southern part of Prospect Hill. In 1992 tree forest plots (25 x 25 m, South, Middle and North) were set up on the Prospect Hill to observe the tree succession recovery on affected areas. Since then yearly DBH measurement are taken on each plot.

Long term forest monitoring data about how the size of the trees on Prospect Hill have changed over time is available on the Institutional Data Archive.