One of the great things about Princeton is that there are abundant opportunities to experience nature close to the town. We have an enviable number of parks- large and small, beautiful gardens, and green spaces interspersed through the neighborhoods. Between Moore Street and Carnahan Place, Guyot Avenue becomes a mixed-use trail. On either side are beautiful trees, shrubs and wild flowers. Best of all for local residents, this little slice of nature is right in the neighborhood, allowing walkers and cyclists a place to get away from stress, cars and traffic.
This trail exists thanks to the efforts of the former Princeton township and community volunteers, who worked to maintain and beautify it. Volunteers pulled out poison ivy and invasive species, and a grant from the New Jersey Department for Environmental Protection was used to widen and resurface the path. It provides a convenient, car-free cut-through between the streets, running along the south side of the playing field of the old Valley Road School site, where there is additionally a small play area for kids.
Guyot Avenue, and the beautiful Guyot Stream, which runs alongside, are apparently named after Arnold Henry Guyot (1807-1884), a Swiss geographer and meteorologist who was a Professor for 30 years at Princeton University. Prof. Guyot was clearly a significant and popular figure, as in addition to Guyot Avenue, he has a glacier named after him in Icy Bay, Alaska, among other geographical features, and he was the subject of an effusive obituary in ‘Science’ magazine after his death in 1884, which includes the following quote:
“He was equally ready to engage in a long and tedious investigation, such as the measurement of a group of mountain peaks, the tracing of lines of bowlders to their sources, the preparation of elaborate tables for the use of meteorologists, and the like, or to make known in a popular lecture, or before a teachers’ institute, or in the conversation of a parlor, or in a series of school-books, the results of his study. He never seemed to be thinking of himself, but always of his subject and his hearers. He cared very little for fame, very much for the study of nature and the education of man.”
The only question is: What is the correct way to pronounce ‘Guyot’ Avenue???