Thursday, March 24, 2016

Woods in Your Backyard Workshop Being Offered In State College

Do you have woods in your backyard? Penn State research for Pennsylvania’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Bureau of Forestry estimates that nearly half a million Pennsylvanians own a small patch of woodlands -- something less than ten acres in size. In fact, the average small ownership is about two acres. In sum these small patches add up to about a million or so acres, or about 10 percent, of the state’s privately held woodlands. We can speculate that about one in eight of Pennsylvania’s households own one of these small woodland areas.

Whether you have hundreds or just a couple of wooded acres, you may have plans for and visions about its use. Anyone interested in improving their acreage for the benefit of humans, flora and fauna will not want to miss the fourth in the “Woods in Your Backyard” series of programs to be held in State College.

Woods in Your Backyard: Creating Healthy Habitats for People, Plants, and Wildlife will be held Saturday, April 30 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Forest Resources Building Auditorium, Penn State University Park, PA. The program is sponsored by Forests for the Bay, Penn State Extension and ClearWater Conservancy.

This workshop is designed specifically (but not exclusively) for smaller landscapes. These small lots are a big deal. The vast majority of Pennsylvania’s landowners have less than 10 acres. This land, wooded or not, can provide benefits. By enhancing wooded areas or creating natural areas on your property, you can enjoy recreation, aesthetics, wildlife, 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 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, 139-page manual - a $23 value! This self-directed book will guide you through the process of developing and implementing projects to enhance your land’s natural resources.

The entire workshop will take place at the Penn State Forest Resources Building. All participants will remain together in the morning sessions and then choose their afternoon sessions based on interest.
Topics will include:
-           Forest and soil ecology
-           Your woods and water
-           Tree and wildflower identification
-           Woodland management techniques
-           Identifying and controlling invasive plants
-           Creating or improving wildlife habitat
-           Converting lawns to woods or meadows
-           Creating pollinator habitat
-           Medicinal plants, mushrooms and maple syrup
-           Songbirds …...and more

Cost is $25 per individual or $40 for two from the same household (includes manual, lunch and light morning refreshments). Registration due by April 25th.
For more information and to register go to: or call 814-355-4897.

If unable to attend but you would still like a copy of the book you can purchase a copy by visiting the PALS website (it’s currently a featured book) or call 607-255-7654. For more information on Woods in Your Backyard visit:

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