Two years ago, the Phillips Academy Biology Department, with the help of the Phillips Academy Office of Physical Plant (especially with Russell Stott, Senior Manager--Campus Design, Sustainability & Grounds), established five experimental garden plots on a portion of the Gelb lawn just north of the Gelb Science Center.  Each of these plots are small, roughly 15' x 4' in size, but are protected from the usual groundskeeping activities that keep the surrounding PA lawns in such good condition......they are not mowed or weed-whacked at anytime.

Two of these plots are available to be used for specific projects that might be initiated by some of the various biology and/or science courses or for Independent Projects to be carried out by PA students and/or faculty (which varies from year to year--Experimental Plots 1 and 2), one was seeded with native grasses (New England Conservation Plot) , one seeded with a mix of native wildflower seed (New England Showy Wildflower Plot), and one allowed to go fallow (in other words, the lawn in this plot was allowed to "go to seed", is being allowed to progress through normal ecological succession processes--Campus Lawn Plot).  The idea here was to give PA students and faculty a dedicated and protected space in which to do some experimentation, and to also provide a natural (all be it small and isolated) area that would be useful for demonstrating to students principles of ecology and evolution in an easy-to-access setting.

In occasional posts to The Nature of Andover blog I will be keeping track of what's going on in these plots over the course of the year.  This will initially be an effort at simply appreciating the changes that occur on these small plots....perhaps in the future this will grow into a more formal scientific analysis of the area.  We shall see.

Plot 1 Campus Lawn Plot Plot 2 New England Conservation Plot Plot 3 New England Showy Wildflower Plot Plot 4 Experimental 1 Plot 5 Experimental 2