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Nature Center Develops Historic Huston Barn Area

August 29, 2011

The John T. Huston-Dr. John D. Brumbaugh Nature Center of the University of Mount Union has been clearing trees recently on the north side of its historic Huston Barn. This is the first step towards improving the area for improved visitor access, expanded educational possibilities and aesthetic enhancements.
 
Approximately two acres of second growth forest, comprised mostly of non-native Norway Maples, has been removed to allow for an expanded pasture on the north side of the Barn.  According to Dr. Charles McClaugherty, professor of biology, co-director of the Environmental Science Program and director of the Brumbaugh Center for Environmental Science, this change was necessary to slow the spread of the invasive species, allow for maintenance of healthier pastures and improve air flow and light on the north side of the Barn. Although trees have been cut down in the process, the wood will be used for firewood and the tops will be mulched and composted on site as well as some brush piles will be created for wildlife habitat.
 
The new pasture will be graded, seeded, and allowed to develop for an extended time before introducing livestock. Interpretive displays and programs will be developed [deleted phrase here] to tell the story of agricultural history and barns in northeastern Ohio.
 
The Barn was built in the 1860s by John T. Huston and has been preserved by his descendants and more recently the University. The Barn was selected as a Barn of the Year in 2008 by the Friends of Ohio Barns.
 
The Nature Center is located six miles south of Mount Union on Daniel Street, just off Route 183. For more information, call (330) 823-7487 or visit www.mountunion.edu/nature-center.

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