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SEBS Student Revives Historic Trail at Rutgers University Inn

The first part of the trail has been cleared of brush and trees. Over the summer, the pond was completely cleaned and a bench for seating was installed nearby. Reviewing the progress are (l-r) Laura Lawson, Deana Pagnozzi, Rick Ludescher, Eliot Nagele, Mike Ayres, and Jason Grabosky (far right). Photo by Jean Marie Hartman.

Environmental planning and design major Eliot Nagele (SEBS ’15) is undertaking the restoration of a historic trail running behind the University Inn and Conference Center. Previously used for recreational and educational purposes the trail has fallen into disuse and become overgrown. Nagele asked Inn Director Deana Pagnozzi, "Would we be interested in having him work on the trail? Of course we were thrilled for him to volunteer.”

Nadele's faculty advisor Jean Marie Hartman and Dean of Academic Programs Rick Ludescher facilitated the creation and funding of an internship that has allowed Nagele to conduct research, begin cleanup, and reach out to faculty, students and staff across the university.

Nagele has a great appreciation for the unique aspects of the entire site. A walk through these woods on a crisp autumn day can reveal a story of a time when this piece of property was in its glory. Nagele spots an elm leaf and picks it up. Noting the rarity of elms after so many succumbed to Dutch elm disease, he searches the canopy to locate the elm, spots it and mentally notes its location for future mapping. He points out some of the unique specimens that Carpender planted: lace bark pine, a rare species from Asia with white bark; tamarack, a coniferous tree that is not an evergreen and sheds its needles. He also points out that the two ponds served an interesting purpose for the house. As part of an early air conditioning system, cold spring water was piped into the house. The drainage water flowed through pipes out to the first pond, spilling over to flow into the second pond, and ultimately draining down to the creek.

Read more about Nagele's work at the SEBS Newsroom: Unearthing a Buried Treasure: SEBS Student Revives Historic Trail at Rutgers University Inn

If you or a student group are interested in helping with the trail clean-up and restoration, there’s still lots to do. Contact Eliot Nagele at

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