The Playwickian

Neshaminy faces Idlewood closure

Idlewood is used for many environmental science classes, gym classes, and cross country team practices.

maggie aldrich

Idlewood is used for many environmental science classes, gym classes, and cross country team practices.

Maggie Aldrich, Managing Editor

Located behind Neshaminy High School is 150 acres of forest recognized as Idlewood. This land has been frequently utilized by a number of classes and clubs such as the environmental classes, physical education classes, Environmental Action club, the cross country team, along with a number of hikers and mountain bikers who visit beyond school hours. Due to a number of factors, Idlewood has recently faced closure due to a safety risk towards those who visit.
“It’s just really inconvenient,” Palak Patel, an AP Environmental student said.
This produces a great effect for the environmental classes since a majority of their curriculum is surrounded around field research within the forest. Instead of exploring Idlewood, they have had to explore in alternative places. Studying around the perimeters of the forest and relocating to parks such as Tyler State Park, Core Creek Park, and Playwicki Park are a few examples. Stripped of their primary source for practice, the cross country team has also had to relocate to neighborhoods and the nearby cemetery in order to run, the change of terrain negatively influencing their performance.
Idlewood continues to hold a threat due to the entry of the Emerald Ash Borer. An invasive species, this insect has infected a multitude of the forest’s ash trees. This guarantees a portion of the trees are dead meaning these 60 foot trees could fall at any time.
“With us now knowing of the dangers, we would be negligible if we continued to expose students to this danger, even if it is miniscule,” AP Environmental teacher James Maloney explained. “If someone were to get hurt in Idlewood due to the dead trees, or unsafe conditions, the use of the resource would be permanently blocked.”
The ash trees are beyond saving due to the extreme costs per tree. Preserving the rest of the forest is now dependent upon which method of silviculture is executed.
“I feel like this is an identity of our school district and I want to see that it continue to be an identity of our school district,” AP Environmental teacher Brian Suter said. “I’m optimistic and hopeful that the administration is also aware of its importance and is problem solving and is going to find a solution of getting us back out there.”

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Neshaminy faces Idlewood closure