Last Look

Bridge over untroubled waters

The West Campus: a river runs through it.

Mark Zurolo ’01MFA

Mark Zurolo ’01MFA

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When Yale bought the Bayer Pharmaceutical research campus for $109 million in 2007, the main attraction was the site’s billion-dollar-plus array of new lab buildings, equipment, and infrastructure. But the 136 acres—now Yale’s West Campus—also included some 30 acres of open space, crisscrossed with nature trails and blessed with the watercourse shown here: the Oyster River.

Although the Oyster crosses farm and commercial land upstream, it’s in pretty good shape, says Tom Parlapiano, who manages science education at the Yale Peabody Museum. “Honors biology students from West Haven High School conducted chemical and biological testing over more than ten years, and the river is relatively healthy,” he notes. Moreover, “Peabody staff at West Campus have so far spotted 135 different species on campus.”

But if you’re not in it for the wildlife, Parlapiano adds, come for the picturesque stone footbridge. “It’s a beautiful place for a tranquil little escape.”

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