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Beech forest is an old-growth hardwood forest which gives a glimpse into past forest conditions in the tidewater region. It is several acres of mature hardwoods, with a very tall canopy and an undisturbed understory, making it a sustainable ecological system. Suggesting the pre-colonial appearance of the area, the forest is a unique and beautiful part of the campus.
Beech forest is important to the history of the college because the land which is now the campus was formerly a farm. Though in the course of the construction of the campus the beech forest area was reduced, recent construction plans have been modified so as to preserve the large area remaining.