Cultural and Natural Zones at Herrontown Woods
The popularity and rapid evolution of the Botanical Art Garden (Barden for short) at Herrontown Woods has led to viewing the preserve as having two zones--one natural, the other cultural. The cultural zone is roughly triangular in shape, bounded by the Barden (Botanical ARt garDEN), Veblen Cottage farmstead, and the Veblen House. It's a place where people and nature can actively interact and collaborate to create beautiful landscapes that stir curiosity and the imagination. The goal is to ultimately make the cultural zone accessible to a broad range of mobilities, while the rest of the preserve is more natural and wild, with narrow, rocky trails.
Veblen House and Cottage, and the Princeton Botanical Art Garden
Conceived in 2018 as an "intro to Herrontown Woods" where visitors can learn about native plants and habitats, the botanical garden developed an artistic and whimsical dimension during the pandemic in 2020. Evolving organically, it has become a place where nature and culture collaborate, and where kids and adults can relax and explore. Veblen House has been initially serving as an "inside out" museum, with a "windows into the past" exhibit on the Veblens' lives and legacies posted on the windows. The Veblen House will be rehabilitated, with potential uses ranging from caretaker's residence to a place for meetings, talks and small performances. The cottage is an intact example of 19th century small landholder farming culture in Princeton, and will serve additionally as a place for art and nature learning.
Outdoor Classes and Performances
With the Veblen House and Cottage undergoing repair, the grounds of the Veblen House became in 2021 a site for outdoor yoga classes, book talks, and performances of music and theater. The beauty and tranquility of Herrontown Woods proved a perfect setting for these events.
Additional components of the vision: