Why was the Conservation and Environmental Research Area (CERA) and its trail created? —Delana Gregg’04, instructional systems development
The Conservation and Environmental Research Area (CERA) was the product of a hard-won compromise between UMBC administrators, faculty and local community activists over the creation and expansion of UMBC’s burgeoning bwtech@UMBC Research and Technology Park in the late 1980s and 1990s.
The fractious debate over the research park (including lawsuits against the university and opposition from significant numbers of UMBC faculty) was resolved in part by faculty proposals to preserve significant amounts of the woodlands surrounding bwtech@UMBC both for conservation and for environmental research and teaching. This CERA was approved and dedicated in 1997.