Posted January 4, 2019
For over 100 years, the 160+ acres at HumanKind has been incorporated into the lesson plans of one of our area’s higher learning institutions.
In 1960, sociology students at Randolph-Macon Women’s College (known today as Randolph College) spent time visiting and studying the Presbyterian Orphan’s Home. Through their studies they found ways to connect with the children through tutoring, bringing a Sunday school class to campus, and even hosting holiday events.
Today, a new study has taken shape and is centered on the ecological value of the land. Ron Gettinger, Professor of Biology at Randolph College, has studied the land to identify four natural habitats: old-field ecosystems, mixed-shrub habitats, woodlands, and pine woods. These areas allow natural flora, fauna, and wildlife to occupy the property without disruption. So far Dr. Gettinger and his students have discovered that HumanKind is home to nesting birds and small carnivores including skunks, raccoons, foxes, owls, and hawks. This discovery has not yet tapped into the pond, which has its own unique wildlife.
“HumanKind’s property has several distinctly different habitats. These are the results of natural and human activities that have allowed or prevented natural ecological succession to occur. Ecological succession is to natural ecosystems what ‘growing up’ is to humans. This property represents a great ecological education opportunity for our students who have visited several times in the past year and we are planning many more to come.”
To explore and learn more about Dr. Gettinger’s findings, come and visit the historic property. Take a walk, look around – you never know what you will discover. For additional information on the campus facilities, please contact Joni Addington at firstname.lastname@example.org.