Hawley Bog, a 65-acre preserve located near the Hawley Massachusetts Old Town Common, is a spectacular example of a high-altitude New England bog. It’s both a living classroom for Five Colleges’ campuses and a popular hiking destination. The preserve is managed by the Nature Conservancy and of the total acreage, 40 are owned by Five Colleges, 25 by the Nature Conservancy. Its fragile wetland community includes a mat of peat 30 feet thick that floats on the open water. This unique ecosystem provides a home for rare plant species that thrive in bog habitats, including many species of orchids as well as the carnivorous sundew, bladderwort and pitcher plant.
“Hawley Bog offers our campuses a unique natural laboratory for research and discovery,” said Neal Abraham, executive director of Five Colleges, noting that newly documented ant species, Ice Age-era pollen and climate change have all been studied there. “…our partnership with the Nature Conservancy helps keep Hawley Bog open and accessible to our students and faculty members.”
Five Colleges, incorporated maintains a Field Reserves Committee which reviews in conjunction with the Nature Conservancy any proposals for research projects that applicants wish to conduct at the Hawley Bog. Research proposals should be submitted to the Nature Conservancy.
For more information on the Hawley Bog, visit the Nature Conservancy’s webpage.
A news article on the recent rennovations to the boardwalk at Hawley Bog.