Environmental, educational and art forest

Environmental, educational and art forest

BIS owns 47 acres (~25 hectare) of heavily forested land within its campus, composed mainly of secondary natural growth of local trees and pine trees introduced by the timber industry decades ago. Detailed in situ exploration of the dense forest performed in April 2017 by the botanist Dr. Alfonso Medel revealed that the forest has a high conservation potential: some unique patches of vegetation, two year-round, running streams with water flow, some monumental trees that escaped loggers, enough flat space close to the creeks to create ponds, remnants of over a century old agricultural terraces, and several potentially scenic areas if access into the dense forest is created. A detailed map for conservation and restoration was developed.

BIS has a vision to create in the forest an “Environmental, educational art forest”. Apart from the land adjacent to the current building of BIS, intended for future development of BIS, the entire forest will be preserved; walking trails will be cut throughout the land to allow easy access and recreational activities of personnel of BIS. Two ponds, fed by the streams, will be created to allow environmental studies of processes in wetlands. Views of both streams will be enhanced by planting more appealing local riparian trees and several species of large oak trees, long ago removed by the logging industry.

Conservation and restoration will allow scientists at BIS a variety of scientific studies in areas free from future human intervention. In addition, open classes with benches in environmentally interesting areas will allow local students to become better acquainted on environmental topics. Local recreational hikers, but not hunters, will be welcomed. In accordance with the mission of the Bashan Foundation (the parent non-profit organization of BIS), which supports art, outdoors art exhibitions and thematic gardens will be created in several partly destroyed areas of the forest by eliminating invasive plants currently dominating these areas. Gallery here.