Small woodlots are a big deal. Owners of only a few acres can make a positive difference in their environment through planning and implementing simple management practices. The Virginia Forest Landowner Education Program, a Virginia Cooperative Extension program in Virginia Tech's College of Natural Resources, is offering a workshop at locations in Franklin and Nottoway counties targeted to owners of woodlots one to 10 acres in size.

This workshop will use the newly published manual, The Woods in Your Backyard: Learning to Create and Enhance Natural Areas Around Your Home, to help small woodlot owners identify goals for their land — such as converting lawn to forest, creating wildlife habitat, or providing a useful outdoor space for family use — and offer guidance to achieve them.

While the vast majority of forest landowners own less than 10 acres, large or small woodlots are all vital. Tree-covered ground is the single best land use for providing clean water, as well as and offering many additional benefits, such as carbon sequestration, improved air quality, wildlife habitat, biomass opportunities, recreational outlets, and more.

The workshop will be held at two different locations; each workshop will consist of two sessions. Registration, which includes lunch, refreshments, and The Woods in Your Backyard workbook, is $25 per person or $40 per household. Pre-registration in required. The Franklin County workshop will be held on May 28 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and May 30 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the W.E. Skelton 4-H Educational and Conference Center at Smith Mountain Lake.

To register, send a check payable to VA Cooperative Extension-Franklin to 90 East Court Street, Rocky Mount, VA 24151. The Nottoway County workshop will be held on June 25 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., and June 27 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Southern Piedmont Agricultural Research and Extension Center. To register, send a check payable to VA Cooperative Extension-Nottoway to PO Box 22, Nottoway, VA 23955.

Find more information about The Woods in Your Backyard manual online. For workshop information, contact Jason Fisher at (434) 476-2147, or visit the events page.

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