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 in Montgomery County 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.

The vast majority of forest landowners own less than 10 acres, yet woodlots of any size are a vital resource. 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.

This two-part workshop will be held at the Montgomery County Government Center in Christiansburg on Thursday, Aug. 27 from 6 to 9 p.m. and Saturday, Aug. 29 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The Saturday session includes a field trip. Registration, which includes refreshments, lunch on Saturday, The Woods in Your Backyard workbook, and a resource CD, is $25 per person or $35 per couple sharing materials. To register, send a check payable to Treasurer, Virginia Tech addressed to VCE – Montgomery County, 755 Roanoke St. Suite 1G, Christiansburg, VA 24073, by Aug. 20.

Find more about The Woods in Your Backyard manual. For workshop information, contact Jennifer Gagnon, Virginia Forest Landowner Education Program coordinator, at (540) 231-6391, or visit the events page.

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