Small lots, such as the one you may own, are a big deal. The vast majority of land owners have less than 10 acres. This land, wooded or not, is a vital source for all.
By enhancing or creating natural areas and woodland on your lot, you can enjoy recreation, aesthetics, wildlife and water quality. If your lot connects to other lots, there’s ample opportunity to make an even bigger impact by getting neighbors involved! Owners of even just a few acres can make a positive difference in their environment through planning and implementing simple stewardship practices learned at The Woods In Your Backyard Workshop.
The workshop is held over two evenings, one week apart. The workshop runs for two hours each (totaling four hours). The cost includes The Woods in Your Backyard manual and CD. Pre-registration is required. Contact your local Extension office to learn if there is an upcoming program in your county. Once you have attended a Woods in Your Backyard workshop, we encourage you to share it with friends, family and neighbors. If there is a need for a workshop in your community, please contact us to discuss. Leadership resources have been provided below for your program:
About Sharing - Permissions
Requests to use any images for purposes other than training or education associated with The Woods in Your Backyard (NRAES-184) manual should be sent to the Natural Resource, Agriculture, and Engineering Service (NRAES), Cooperative Extension, P.O. Box 4557, Ithaca, NY 14852-4557. (607) 255-7654. NRAES holds the copyright on the publication.
The following files are the workshop presentations that can be viewed using Adobe Reader. If you would like to edit any of the presentations for your own use, please contact Jonathan Kays at 301-432-2767 x323 (firstname.lastname@example.org) and request original files.
The Woods in Your Backyard Overview, was developed for use as a stand alone presentation for an audience of those interested in using the manual for themselves, or those who would like to teach others about The Woods in Your Backyard. It is designed to be used when each person in the audience has a copy of the manual and can follow along and become familiar with the materials. It provides some overview of why backyard forests are important, and then goes through the manual describing the key lessons and activities. The slides have the specific page numbers for the activity or lesson so the class can follow along. For most audiences, a 1.5 - 2 hour workshop is required to cover the material.
Session Presentations: The following are presentations which follow The Woods in Your Backyard manual. They were designed to be used for a 2-part course. Each presentation part is designed to last no more than 1.5 hours.
Workshop Brochure: This brochure can be used for an upcoming workshop. pdf | Publisher
Brochure About the Manual: This brochure provides some basic information about the manual. Space is provided for volunteers to include their contact information. pdf | Word document
Publications, programs and other resources are important tools to help you continue
learning and able to provide information to others interested
in forest stewardship. Links to many publications have been included here. Most
can also be obtained in hard copy, often for free, by contacting
Many states make available through county Extension offices
a guide to the common trees of the state. In addition, there are
dozens of commercially available guides such as the Peterson
Field Guide to Trees and Shrubs, which has an excellent
key that will help you through the identification process step by
step. The National
Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Trees contains
excellent pictures. Look for these and other guide books in your local library
or book store.
Forest Trees of Virginia -
Virginia Department of Forestry
Geist, K., S. Pick, and M. Brittingham. 2001. Neighborly
Natural Landscaping: Creating Natural Environments in Residential
Areas. Pennsylvania Wildlife No. 10. Penn State University,
University Park, PA.
Slattery, Britt E., Kathryn Reshetiloff, and Susan M. Zwicker.
2003. Native Plants for Wildlife Habitat and Conservation
Landscaping: Chesapeake Bay Watershed. U.S. Fish
& Wildlife Service, Chesapeake Bay Field Office, Annapolis,
MD. 82 pp.
Contact the agriculture or forestry department at your state's
university to locate a soil testing lab and get directions for collecting
soil. The USDA Service Center Locator help you to find the Farm
Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the
Rural Development agencies in your area.
Backyard Woods: Bring Your Vision to Life
This 44-page publication was developed by USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry. Whether you want to enhance the scenery in your backyard woods, provide superb habitat for wildlife, or even utilize your land as an extra source of income, the Backyard Woods program can assist in bringing your vision to life.
Backyard Woods: Bring Your Vision to Life (entire
Wildland Urban Interface
Natural resource agencies are being called upon to provide solutions to increasingly complex challenges at the wildland-urban interface (WUI). Communities are growing rapidly, landowners’ management goals often conflict, residents may not understand the benefits of resource management, and the resulting risks to environmental quality and human quality of life are becoming more apparent. To help meet these needs, the Southern Group of State Foresters led a partnership with the USDA Forest Service, Southern Center for Wildland-Urban Interface Research and Information (SCWUIRI), the University of Florida, School of Forest Resources and Conservation, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to develop this WUI professional development program. This program provides state and federal natural resource agencies with a set of flexible resources to conduct their own training programs, aimed toward building skills and tools to successfully tackle WUI issues.
The Changing Roles: WUI Professional Development Program was developed through a partnership between the Southern Center for Wildland-Urban Interface Research and Information of the Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the School of Forest Resources and Conservation of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Other partners included the Southern Group of State Foresters and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife.
Module 2: Managing Interface Forests - Provides tools and knowledge for effectively managing fragmented forests in the WUI. Includes practicing silviculture at the interface; small-scale harvesting systems; managing for wildlife, fire, and visual and recreational amenities; enterprise opportunities for landowners; and forest cooperatives.
Module 3: Land-Use Planning and Policy - Explains land-use decision-making tools, the role of natural resource professionals in the decision-making and land-use planning process, and how natural resource professionals can get involved.
Module 4: Communicating with Interface Residents and Leaders - Discusses key tips for effective communication with WUI residents and community leaders, beginning with the need to understand the audience, strategies for effectively sharing information and planning programs, and working to resolve conflict and support changes in behavior.
Kays, J. S,
J. Finley, & A. Downing. (2006). The Woods in Your Backyard:
Reaching New Audiences. In Proceedings of the Southern Regional
Conference on Technology Transfer and Extension in Natural Resources,
August 2-4, 2006, Hot Springs, AR: Southern Regional Extension Forestry,
USDS Forest Service.
Downing, A. K., J. S. Kays, & J. C. Finley. (2008). Backyard Woodlot Owners: A Growing Issue and New Approach. Journal of National Association of County Agricultural Agents, July, 2008. Available at: http://www.nacaa.com/journal
Landscapes and Backyard Woodlots: Business Opportunities for the Green Industry
November 11, 2008
Adams County Cooperative Extension Office, Gettysburg, PA.
Penn State Cooperative Extension in partnership with the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension and the Penn State School of Forestry offered the program “Landscapes and Backyard Woodlots: Business Opportunities for the Green Industry.” The goal of the program was to educate green industry professionals about managing backyard forests. There are significant opportunities that this resource provides to expand the traditional business model for landscapers and arborists. The program provided green industry professionals the tools and knowledge necessary to serve the expanding market in managing and creating backyard woodlots. PDA and MDA pesticide credits were awarded to licensed applicators.
In an effort to make the resources of this workshop available to others, the presentations are linked below and are in PDF format. The size of the PDF file is listed next to the title of the presentation. To the right of the agenda, handouts are linked and are also in PDF format.
If you are interested in being put on a mailing list to be notified of future program opportunities, please send an email to Jonathan Kays, email@example.com .