Why This Site?

I’ve chosen the photo above of Lake Pam as this website’s main header because it suggests the sometimes-hidden beauty of our campus — and its intriguing and often-overlooked natural history.

Lake Pam is only a ten-minute walk east of the Arts & Sciences Building, but it seems that most Stocktonians have never seen it. When I take my classes out there for the first time and ask, “How many of you have ever been here before today?,” rarely do more than three or four students (of twenty-five or thirty) raise their hands. Sometimes no one does.

Talking with friends and colleagues over the years, I have come to suspect that the percentage of Lake Pam visitors among staff and faculty is not much higher than the percentage of students.

The situation is the same for most of the rest of the outdoor spots on campus, it seems to me: Zinckgraf Farm, Kennedy Farm, Cedick Run Bog, Delaware Avenue, the Lumberjack’s Old Foundation, Morse’s Mill Stream …and so many others. These wonderful spots are overlooked or unknown places to most members of our community of students, colleagues, and friends. Even Lake Fred, the most obvious and unavoidable natural area on campus, is under-appreciated, in my opinion.

I worry that the general mental image many of us have of the campus is close to the one presented in this map:

Our campus as it is too often conceived

Here are the actual proportions:

Stockton’s Actual Proportions

What can be found in all the green space?

Fence lizards like this one captured by a student at Zinckgraf Farm....

Fence lizards like this one captured by a student at Zinckgraf Farm….

Southern leopard frogs, like this one captured by a student in Cedick Run Bog...

Southern leopard frogs, like this one captured by a student on the Dark Path…

Butterflies, like this red-banded hairstreak photo'd on The Lighted  Path....

Butterflies, like this red-banded hairstreak photo’d on the Lighted Path….

Many birds, like these tree swallows gathering for migration at Kennedy Farm...

Birds, like these tree swallows gathering for southbound migration at Kennedy Farm…

Many turtles, including these red-bellied turtles basking at Cedick Run Bog...

Turtles, including these red-bellied turtles basking at Cedick Run Bog…

Snakes, like this young black racer, captured by a student on the path to Lake Pam....

Snakes, like this young black racer, captured by a student on the path to Lake Pam….

Crayfish that like this one that occasionally come crawling out of Lake Fred...

Crayfish that like this one that occasionally come crawling out of Lake Fred…

Tracks in the snow to be puzzled over, like these along Morse's Mill Stream....

Tracks in the snow to be puzzled over, like these along Morse’s Mill Stream….

and these golden clubs along Delaware Avenue...

Plants worth contemplating like these golden clubs that bloom along Delaware Avenue in April each year…

Plants worth contemplating like this Indian pipes on a forest path....

…or like these Indian pipes that bloom on many forest paths each August and September….

…and so much more.

This website is intended to pull together photographs, stories, articles, links, and commentary that will encourage more students, staff, faculty, alumni, and visitors to explore the outdoors of our campus, through the seasons of the year and back through recent decades and centuries.

If exploring our campus beyond the obvious parking lots and buildings sounds like something you might like to try (or you do already), then this site is intended for you. Please click on the links at the top to find an interest or two.

Jack Connor
Professor of Writing
GENS

At the moment (January, 2015) this website remains a work in progress with lots more to do. I have posted the more finished pieces above to draw corrections and questions. Please write to me about any errors or problems you see: jconnor@stockton.edu. I would be very pleased to hear from anyone willing to send in a note.

I want to acknowledge the many people who have contributed comments, insights, and information so far. They include:

Members of Stockton’s current or former faculty and staff, and Stockton alumni: Rudy Arndt, Sandy Bierbrauer, David Carr, Anthony Chodan, Dick Colby, Jamie Cromartie, Claude Epstein, William Hamilton, Ron Hutchison, Tom Kinsella, Tony Marino, Ray Mueller, James Pullaro, Mike Sargente, Mark Sullivan, Louise Tillstrom, and Ken Tompkins.

Members of the Galloway Historical Society: Mark Ferguson, Steve Fiedler, Jim Leopardi, Robert Reid, John Seyler, Ken Sooy, and Sarah Snow.

Other South Jersey historians: Gabe Coia, Norman Goos, Jim Mason, and Paul W. Schopp.