Do you have woods in your backyard? Penn State research estimates that nearly half a million Pennsylvanians own a small patch of woodland—-something less than 10 acres in size. In fact, the vast majority of Pennsylvania landowners have fewer than 10 acres. These small patches add up to about a million acres, or about 10% of our state’s privately-held woodlands.
The “Woods in Your Backyard” webinar series teaches land stewardship through nine live, one hour, online evening lectures that can be viewed on home computers. Sessions run from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday nights for nine weeks beginning January 29. All lectures are recorded and can be viewed later if a live session is missed.
Sponsored by Penn State Extension, the Center for Private Forests at Penn State, the University of Maryland Extension, DCNR–Bureau of Forestry, and the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay: Forests for the Bay Program, this webinar series is designed specifically, but not exclusively, for smaller landscapes. These small lots, whether wooded or not, can provide numerous benefits. By enhancing wooded areas or creating natural areas on small properties, owners can enjoy wildlife, recreation, aesthetics, improved water quality, and reduced energy costs. Owners of even the smallest landscapes can make a positive difference in their environment through planning and implementing simple stewardship practices.
The workshop series introduces the manual, The Woods In Your Backyard: Learning to Create and Enhance Natural Areas Around Your Home. All participants will receive the full-color, 108 page publication, a $23.00 value. This self-directed book will guide owners through the process of developing and implementing projects to enhance the land’s natural resources.
Topics covered in the webinars include woods and healthy watersheds, tree and shrub identification, providing and enhancing wildlife habitat, forest ecology and soils, woodlot management techniques, invasive plant identification and control, converting open land to meadows and woods, and providing edible fruits and nuts and other ways to diversify the woods.
Cost is $45.00. For more information and to register, visit the Penn State Extension website at: https://extension.psu.edu/woods-in-your-backyard-webinar-series Or, call 1-877-345-0691. Registration deadline is January 18 so be sure to sign up asap!
NATURE NUGGET Almost sixty percent (17 million acres) of Pennsylvania’s 28 million acres of land are covered by forests. Private forest landowners own seventy-one percent (12.5 million acres) of the Commonwealth’s forest land.
NOTE: Gifford Pinchot was an American forester and politician. He served as the 4th Chief of the U.S. Division of Forestry, as the 1st head of the United States Forest Service, and was the 28th Governor of Pennsylvania in the early 1900’s. He is considered to be the first conservationist.
“Porcupine Pat” McKinney is environmental education coordinator for the Schuylkill Conservation District and provides programming for people of all ages with an emphasis on schools, public programming and nature center development. “Porcupine Pat” hails from Marion, Ohio and has a BS with Distinction in Natural Resources – Environmental Interpretation from Ohio State. He is a recipient of the prestigious Sandy Cochran Award for Excellence in Natural Resources Education from the PA Forestry Association, the Schuylkill Pride Award, and the PAEE “Outstanding Environmental Educator Award.”