Next Steps (towards a final field trip)
What (I think!) emerged in today's discussion was a shared desire for a final field trip that (in graham's words) "lets our discussion become mobile." We seem to be moving towards a walk along Mill Creek. Below find what Lynne Elkins, of the BMC Geology Department, said when I asked her for guidance on how to do this "ramble."
In reponse to her questions: what is our purpose here? Shall we go to Ashbridge Park, to Mill Creek (in the acreage below Harriton House), or to Dove Lake? Rambling and talking together about a text? What is an "ecological" mode for making such a decision? How to be "ecologically conscious" in doing so?
....we do local trips very often, sometimes nearly every week for particular classes. I use Mill Creek for at least one class every semester. I agree that walking along it isn't feasible--in some places the banks are too overgrown, and in others it's probably private property or the stream enters underground drainages. You could walk farther by going through the water with waders, but in places storms have deposited enough debris that it might be impassible. I've never used it as far as Dove Lake, though.
My recommendations/ideas will really depend on the purpose of using a field site for this class. What kinds of observations are your class hoping to make? Will you take any measurements or do any analysis? Environmental studies/ecology is a bit too broad to be sure what would be best.
I have at times used the restoration site along the creek in Ashbridge park, but my concern there is usually impact--the site is pretty sensitive and it's easy to trample it too much. If your class is small that impact might be low enough that it might be a good choice, though.