Thursday, October 8, 2020

Penn State Extension Offers 4-Part Natural Area Management Webinar Series

A four-part webinar series offered by Penn State Extension will give green industry professionals the knowledge they need to provide natural area management services.

The “Natural Area Management Services Webinar Series” will be held from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 22 and 29, and Nov. 5 and 12. 

The program was created by the Woods in Your Backyard Partnership, which is comprised of Penn State Extension, University of Maryland Extension, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and the Virginia Department of Forestry.

Course content is designed to provide green industry professionals with skills needed to provide additional services to clientele, noted Penn State Extension educator David Jackson, who specializes in forest resources management.

“The Woods in Your Backyard educational program has worked with small-acreage owners for many years and has learned a lot about the potential market for land-care services,” said Jackson, who explained that small-scale natural area management services include wildlife habitat enhancement, forestry practices such as chosen tree management, tree planting, and invasive pest control.

Webinar dates and topics are as follows:

--October 22: “Expanding Your Business: Land Care Practices on Small-Acreage Properties.” This introductory webinar addresses issues around improving woodland health and the motivations and interests of clientele for natural area services. The program will provide an overview of land care practices, relevant certifications and the potential benefits this can provide a business. Communication with clientele also will be discussed.

--October  29: “Land Care Practices for Woodland Health.” This webinar starts with a woodland ecology overview and the principles of succession. Presenters will discuss land care practices such as converting lawn to natural area, managing riparian buffers, modifying and/or improving wildlife habitat, and chosen tree management.

--November 5: “Land Care Practices for Woodland Health Continued.” This session features ways to improve privacy and aesthetics, create natural havens, improve recreational opportunities, and grow and harvest forest products. Experts will review the use of integrated vegetation management, including how to control undesirable plants, select and apply herbicides, and manage invasive plants.

--November 12: “Introduction to Woodland Health Assessment and Incorporating Woodland Health Practices into Your Business.” This webinar introduces the Woodland Health Assessment Checklist. This new checklist enables the green industry professional to help clients address issues with their property and identify management actions available. Other topics include developing a land care plan, marketing, and deciding when to include a forestry professional for certain practices.

Included with registration are a resource manual, the “Woodland Health Practices Handbook,” and the specialized checklist tool, both of which have been developed to complement the training. 

Click Here to register. 

Continuing education credits are available for the following: Society of American Foresters, International Society of Arboriculture, Pennsylvania Certified Horticulturist, Pennsylvania Landscape Architect, professional development for engineers, and Landscape Contractors Association (Maryland, Virginia and District of Columbia).

More information can be obtained by contacting Jackson at 814-359-7480 or  or Julianne Schieffer, extension urban forester, at 610-489-4315 or

(Reprinted from the October newsletter from the PA Forestry AssociationClick Here to sign up for your own copy.)

[Posted: October 8, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

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