We Kept the Woods!

Keep the Woods (KTW) formed in 2005 to support the preservation of the Ethel Walker Woods, a keystone property (424 acres) atop an aquifer next to the Ethel Walker School in Simsbury, CT. In 2014, the preservation was complete! 

Read more in a brochure by Keep the Woods and a case statement by the Trust for Public Land. Our near-complete website is archived here.

We continue to share interdisciplinary science and support clean water resources, natural forest ecosystems and relevant public policies.

Nature-Based Solutions

Protecting and restoring nature, and living within its capacity to sustain us, is a global priority. Forest-based solutions include afforestation, reforestation, improved management, and proforestation. Proforestation is a nature-based solution whereby some forests are protected as intact ecosystems to foster continuous growth for maximal carbon storage (“wild carbon“) and ecological and structural complexity.  

Read the original peer reviewed paper on proforestation here. Proforestation management has quantifiable benefits. It aligns with public values and is a powerful and low cost strategy to optimize ecosystem services. Read more new science here.

Proforestation is recommended as part of several scientific consensus statements. 

Our Best Future

Forests evolved before dinosaurs and we discover new species regularly. In the face of global crises we need forests more than ever. Protecting forests (and trees) saves energy, filters air and water, and prevents floods. 

A healthy forest is evolving and can host millions of different species – many below ground. It provides medicines and health benefits, including brain health. 

Protecting intact forest ecosystems requires highlighting their benefits and providing incentives if needed. We can also reduce resource use and recycle and repurpose resources.  

We need a network of nature! Some forests will be for resource production and research. But wherever possible we must prioritize natural forests for people and the planet.

Biodiversity and Migration

We need nature preserves and corridors for migration. Old-growth forests need maximal protection. We are still discovering new species – even in Southern New England! 

Climate Mitigation and Resilience

Keeping natural forest ecosystems intact and growing – proforestation – can maximize benefits such as lowering atmospheric carbon, reducing flooding, and keeping things cool . . . Intact forests also have fewer invasives, and older forests are better able to withstand the stresses associated with a changing climate.

Forests & Public Health

Natural forests clean our air and water. Being in a forest benefits people of all ages and abilities – those that are healthy and those that are ill. Recent research suggests that forests can improve brain health in many ways. Forests produced many current medicines and are an ongoing source for new medicines . . .

What’s the latest with the Ethel Walker Woods

In general folks are happy with many aspects. There are concerns about “overmanagement” and people want to make sure we set the right priorities based on its well-researched values.

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