The Seminar Forest is a forty acre tract of land obtained by Penn State Altoona in 2008 and located right across the Juniata Gap entrance to campus. The ENVST Senior Seminar created Seminar Forest in the spring of 2010. The forest, previously known as the Ritchey Property, now has hiking and mountain biking trails, and a restored pond. The land has been geologically assessed, surveyed for its biodiversity, studied and simply enjoyed by students and faculty. A number of other projects have also been created or proposed for the land.
Recently, a replica Thoreau cabin was built on the property at the base of the trail head along Beckers Lane. The cabin will house environmental research projects that have been undertaken at the forest, and the forest itself is blossoming into a thriving environmental education center made possible by the vision and efforts of many faculty, staff, and students at Penn State Altoona. Recreational and educational opportunities found at Seminar Forest will hopefully teach lessons about human connections with our home landscapes for our students as well as any local resident who wishes to come and enjoy the land.
It is just the beginning of the Environmental Studies vision for what they would like to see take place at the Seminar Forest. The possibilities are endless. Our biggest hope for the land is that it remain wild and intact - not developed commercially.
Contact:Dr. Ian S. Marshall
Professor of English
Arts and Humanities
Office: 128 Misciagna Family Center for Performing Arts