Wednesday, December 23, 2020

The Woods in Your Backyard

Penn State Extension webinar series will help landowners care for their woods

Do you have woods in your backyard? Penn State research estimates that nearly half a million Pennsylvanians own a small patch of woodland — something fewer than 10 acres in size. In fact, the majority of Pennsylvania landowners have fewer than 10 acres. These small patches add up to about a million acres, or about 10 percent 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 your home computer. Sessions run from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday nights for nine weeks beginning Jan. 27. All lectures are recorded and can be viewed later if a live session is missed.

Sponsored by Penn State Extension and the Center for Private Forests, the University of Maryland Extension, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Bureau of Forestry, and the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay: Forests for the Bay Program, the webinar series is designed specifically, but not exclusively, for small-acreage owners.

These small lots, whether wooded or not, can provide numerous benefits. By enhancing existing woodland or creating new natural areas on your property, you 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 registrants will receive the full-color, 108-page publication, a $29 value. This self-directed book will guide you through the process of developing and implementing projects to enhance your land’s natural resources.

Topics covered in the webinars include the following:

·         “Why Backyard Woods are Important”

·         “Importance of Woods to Healthy Watersheds”

·         “Trees and Shrubs for Different Sites and Objectives”

·         “Providing and Enhancing Wildlife Habitat”

·         “Forest Ecology and Woodlot Management Techniques”

·         “Invasive Plant Identification and Control”

·         “Converting Open Land to Meadows and Woods”

·         “Healthy Woods: Common Insects and Diseases”

For more information and to register, visit the Penn State Extension website at or call 877-345-0691. The registration deadline is Jan. 20, 2021.

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