Hunsberger Woods is a 27-acre natural area located on East Ninth Avenue, encompassing ponds, creeks, and wooded and meadow habitats. It is a haven for birds and other wildlife, and features maintained trails for walking, running, and other non-motorized recreation. The natural area was created when Russell and Jeannette Hunsberger sold their property jointly to the Borough and Ursinus College. The Hunsberger family lived on the property from 1938 until 1996. The Borough, with support from Montgomery County Open Space (“Growing Greener”) Funds and Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, bought the undeveloped 27-acre parcel that now encompasses the protected Hunsberger Woods natural area. The college purchased the Hunsberger house and adjacent buildings and fields.
The Borough of Collegeville has made improvements to the site, including the addition of park benches and parking for cars and bicycles at the Ninth Avenue and the Rt. 29 entrances. The Borough and Ursinus have a long history of collaborating to care for the lands and waters at Hunsberger Woods. Ursinus Environmental Studies faculty and students have worked closely with the Borough over the past 16 years to raise funds and conduct restoration and stewardship activities in the natural area, including planting more than 600 trees characteristic of southeastern Pennsylvania forests (including oak, maple, birch, hickory, dogwood, poplar, and white pine, among others). As well, in the fall of 2018, Susan Hunsberger Stevenson, daughter of Russell and Jeannette Hunsberger, was honored with the planting of a memorial tree (a red oak). The memorial was made possible by Susan’s classmates from the Collegeville-Trappe High School class of 1948, the Borough, and the Ursinus Environmental Studies Department.
The Borough enjoys its collaboration with Ursinus on the stewardship of Hunsberger Woods, as well as the involvement of other past partners, including the Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, and the statewide Plant One Million reforestation program.