Did you know that Bay Road follows the route of the original road from western Massachusetts to Boston in colonial times? Or that the Horse Caves on the north side of Mount Norwottock were formed at the contact point between old sedimentary rock and a basalt lava flow, and were reputedly used by Daniel Shays and his men after the failure of their rebellion? Or that the north and south sides of the Holyoke Range each have a different kind of forest?
In 1974, a group of 20 Hampshire students and their faculty advisors, Louis Wilcox and Joan Martin, undertook a study of the Holyoke Range, the chain of hills located just to the south of the Hampshire campus. The resulting study, called The Holyoke Range: a Study of its History, Resources and Land Use became a landmark description of this interesting local area, and brought together a wide range of hard to find information specific to the Range. It was edited by Steven Berkowitz, and formed part of his Division III exam.
The report covers the history and geology of the Range, its topography, climate, soils, water resources, vegetation and wildlife. It also discusses historical sites, land use, and planning issues. Although some of the information is now dated, the report still provides valuable information on the local area. A large number of hand drawn maps supplement the text.
This group project is an early example of Hampshire students putting the college motto (Non Satis Scire: To Know is Not Enough) into practice. Not only did the students research the information contained in the report, they conducted field studies and interviews, and then published their findings in a easily accessible form for others to use. It remains a valuable resource for the residents of the local area, and is used by schools and other groups on an ongoing basis. The library has several copies of the Holyoke Range Report--check it out and see for yourself.
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