Upper Cascadilla Creek meanders its way through a narrow valley. The mature forests of the slopes and bottomlands are valuable natural habitats, readily accessible from campus and therefore important for teaching and research. Narrow corridors such as this one can create the illusion of wilderness. The vegetation of the site is a complex mix of mature forest, marsh and floodplain, next to disturbed areas with conifer plantation and weedy vegetation, on a landscape with much history of human use. This mix is typical of a natural area in an urban setting.