Conchoidal fracture on traprock boulder, Storrs, CT.
The SWI has four basic goals:
- Appreciation - Beyond being an abandoned fence, each stone wall is also a historic artifact, animal habitat, ecological boundary, rock collection, and aesthetic object. The more we appreciate what we see, the more likely we are to manage it well. One of three books written by the coordinator explores their history and origin. Link to Stone by Stone.
- Investigation - There is a dearth of research on the origin of stone walls, their impact on woodland ecosystems, and their importance in literature, art, and environmental history. The book Exploring Stone Walls (2005) is a start towards an inquiry-based view of walls as outdoor scientific objects.
- Preservation - The authentic stone walls gracing the New England countryside are slowly being strip-mined for their stone, much of which is being shipped beyond the local source areas for use in the construction industry. The SWI recommend these additional resources.
- Education - Stone walls provide an opportunity to link aspects of geology, ecology, social studies, environmental science, and simple physics to school curricula from the elementary to the high school levels. Many kids are as fascinated by stone walls as they are by dinosaurs and volcanoes. Link to Stone Wall Secrets.