2018

September

Culpeper Harvest Days Farm Tour

  • September 15-16
  • 10 - 4:00
  • Northern Virginia
  • Free

Visit some of Culpeper County's finest working farms. Enjoy farm animals, fresh produce, blooming flower arrangements, live equestrian events, music and good food! Take advantage of this once a year opportunity to get close to the workings of local agriculture and experience unique access to farms and Ag facilities.

Details

Tree Farm Dinner

  • September 20
  • Middle Mountain Farm, Crozet
  • $10/person - includes tour & dinner
  • 4:00-7:00
  • Agenda

Join Rod Walker, Founder of the Blue Ridge PRISM, on his 1,500 acre Tree Farm on Middle Mountain.  We will learn about current American chestnut research and see a seedling planting.  We will also look at two areas that have been reclaimed from exotic invasive species infestations.  Rod will talk about what it takes to remove exotics from your woods and keep them out.  A short presentation on what it means to be a Tree Farmer will follow the tour.  The evening will wrap up with dinner.  

All participants will meet at the White Hall Community Center at 3:45.  Members of the Virginia Tree Farm Foundation will transport participants to the Farm in vans.  

Registration is closed

Contact Jennifer Gagnon, jgagnon@vt.edu, 540-231-6391, for more information.  

SE Virginia Beginning Landowner Weekend Retreat

  • September 21-23, 2018
  • New Kent Forestry Center, Providence Forge
  • Individual no lodging $55
  • Individual lodging $95
  • Couple no lodging $110
  • Couple lodging $190

Do you own woodland?  Are you interested in keeping it healthy and productive, but don't know where to start?  If so, this weekend retreat may be perfect for you!  Over the course of 1.5 days, you'll receive classroom instruction, see sustainable management practices in person on a field trip to a privately owned woodland, and gain hands-on experience with tree identification and woodland measurements and valuation.  This fun, interactive weekend will give you all the information and resources you need to start managing your woods.

Registration fees include 3 meals on Saturday, 2 meals on Sunday, refreshments, and a wealth of materials and resources.  If you choose to lodge on-site, prices include Friday & Saturday nights.  

Contact Jennifer Gagnon, jgagnon@vt.edu, 540-231-6391, for more information.

The 2018 Offsets Workshop

The OFFSET Workshop will focus on carbon market possibilities for small-scale forest owners, and will include a tutorial on using the Climate Action Reserve Carbon Inventory Tool (CARIT). There will be CFE credits available. Please register no later than September 7, 2018 using our online registration link. 

Please contact Tatyana Ruseva, rusevatb@appstate.edu, for more information. 

October

Mapping with Drones

  • October 2-4
  • Blacksburg
  • $400 (includes 3 days of instruction, materials/supplies, and lunches during the workshop).

Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) are permeating many sectors of industry, and are increasingly being employed as data collection platforms to support of an array of applications.  Applications span disciplines and industries and can include:  planning, natural resource management, marketing, inspection of structures, agricultural production, permitting, and public safety.  Specific sensors can be used to tailor application needs. Flights can be scheduled and conducted under short notice to accommodate weather, and temporal considerations.  sUAS operations support efficient workflows and provide opportunities for ‘data on demand’.

This 3-day workshop will provide participants with the following:

  • An understanding of FAA and sUAS lingo;
  • A comprehensive knowledge of current federal commercial sUAS regulations;
  • In-depth discussions of sUAS platforms (fixed wing and multi-rotor), sensors (including true color, NIR, multispectral, thermal), and associated applications;
  • sUAS project workflows, including;
    • Compliance with FAA regulations and safe practices;
    • An overview of sUAS operation planning software, check sheets, and smartphone apps;
    • Demonstrations of fixed wing and multi-rotor aircraft (contingent on weather and other local conditions / regulations) of both autonomous and manual operations, and;
    • A comprehensive presentation and demonstration of image processing software techniques and options (image mosaics, NDVI, etc.).

Registration

This is an intensive, yet introductory level workshop.  No previous knowledge or experience with drones, sUAS, or GIS is required. Online registration is required is available via https://tinyurl.com/UASMapping (major credit cards are accepted). The cost of the workshop is $400. This includes instruction, handouts and resources, and lunch (for all 3 days). After registration is received, you will receive further information about the workshop (exact location, etc.).

Space is limited. Registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Questions associated with the workshop should be directed to John McGee (jmcg@vt.edu) or Daniel Cross (falkus@vt.edu).

Fall Forestry & Wildlife Field Tour - Buchanan County

Named for former president James Buchanan, Buchanan County is the only Virginia County to border both Kentucky and West Virginia.

Stop 1: D and F Logging

At this stop we will discuss the importance of small local markets for low quality hardwoods and pulpwood in rural areas of Virginia and how they impact hardwood management.

Stop 2: Creating Wildlife Habitat on Reclaimed Mine Lands

Hear, from a wildlife biologist, about the steps needed to convert old coal mining sites to suitable habitat for elk, turkey, and other wildlife species.

Stop 3: Elk! In Virginia! Again!

At this stop we’ll learn why elk are being reintroduced to Virginia, what they need to thrive, and how they are being managed sustainably. More than likely, we’ll be able to see some elk and hear them bugling. We’ll also discuss the opportunities and challenges associated with managing the Coal Canyon Trail System (a 112-mile ATV trail) within the context of wildlife and hardwood management.

Stop 4: More Elk - For Your Viewing and Listening Pleasure

The tour will end at the beginning of the Virginia elk restoration project. This stop is the original elk release site. Sit back and enjoy watching and listening to the elk become more active towards evening and catch a lovely sunset. Dinner will be provided. Please note, this stop is outdoors and can be windy - it very well may get quite chilly - please bring appropriate attire. Also you may want to bring a real camera for the unique photo opportunities this site offers.

Return by 7:30 p.m.

Please register by 5:00 p.m., Friday, September 28

Contact Bill Worrell, bworrell@vt.edu, 276-889-8056, for more information.  

Fall Forestry & Wildlife Field Tour - Sussex County

Eighty percent of the land in Sussex County is in commercial forestry. The main planted species in these forests is loblolly pine. Join us on this tour to learn how this important natural resource is managed in southeast Virginia.

Stop 1: Garland Gray Forestry Center

The Virginia Department of Forestry has grown and sold over 2 billion tree seedlings to Virginia woodland owners over the past 100 years. At Garland Gray, we’ll learn about their loblolly pine production program that produces over 30 million bare-root seedlings every year. We’ll also tour their brand-new facilities for growing up to 500,000 containerized longleaf pine seedlings annually. Eventually this operation will be expanded to grow containerized loblolly pine and grasses (for ecosystem restoration).

Stop 2: Chub Sandhill Natural Area Preserve

This preserve, managed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, features a series of low sandhills, sandy upland flats and adjacent riparian wetlands along the Nottoway River. While most, perhaps all, of the upland vegetation at the preserve has been altered from its pre-settlement condition, the site still supports rare sandhill plant species. Frequent fires historically occurred here, maintaining the upland communities at the northern range extent of the Longleaf Pine Ecosystem. At this stop, participants will learn what DCR has been doing to manage and enhance these unique plant communities, including the reintroduction of longleaf pine in 2007.

Stop 3: BBQ Lunch

Stop 4: Big Woods State Forest/Piney Grove Preserve/Big Woods Wildlife Management Area

These three adjacent properties, managed by the Virginia Department of Forestry, The Nature Conservancy, and the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, total 7,574 acres of conserved land in southeast Virginia. Management activities frequently take place across ownerships, allowing for multiple objectives to be achieved. Management objectives include timber production, red-cockaded woodpecker restoration, and wildlife habitat maintenance and improvement. We’ll discuss what management tools are used to achieve these objectives.

Return by 5:00 p.m.

Please register by 5:00 p.m., Friday, October 5

Contact Neil Clark, neclark@vt.edu, 757-653-2572, for more information.

Managing Invasive Species in the Fall

  • October 18
  • 1 - 5:00
  • Blandy Experimental Farm, Boyce
  • $25

Learn to identify and manage invasive plants in fall. You may bring securely bagged specimens for identification. We begin with an overview in the library and end with a walk for field identification and demonstration of techniques.

For more information or to register on-line, visit: blandy.virginia.edu

Fall Forestry & Wildlife Field Tour - Fluvanna/Goochland Counties

Join us in the heart of Virginia’s Piedmont to explore the scenic and productive forests of these historic lands. From the preserved Haden Family farmhouse at Fluvanna County’s premier public park (Pleasant Grove) to lands near the former town of Columbia along the James River, we will explore a variety of management tools for landowners to improve forest productivity, diversity, and habitat value. The excursion will visit two properties named after Rassawek, the former main village of the Monocan Indian tribe, and will offer fantastic scenery, food, and fellowship along the way.

Stop 1: Good Hardwoods Deserve Good Silviculture

Visit with a private landowner who is working with a professional not only to harvest value from the forest, but also to ensure the future hardwood stand has value as well. When it comes to hardwoods, forward thinking  management is rarely practiced. See how both the art and science of silviculture are applied to ensure quality trees for the next 100 years.

Stop 2: Elgin Park & Lickinghole Farm Tracts

This expansive family land holding grows lots of timber and lots of wildlife. Part of more than 2,000-plus contiguous acres owned by the Gottwald family, these properties have been under intensive multi-purpose management for up to 40 years. We’ll see side-by-side comparisons of burned, unburned, and over-burned areas. Tools such as prescribed fire, best management practices, easements, tax credits, & timber harvesting help keep this property productive in every sense of the word. Weather permitting, we may get to observe an active logging operation.

Stop 3: Rassawek Vineyard (home of the Rassawek Spring Jubilee) Lunch

We will see an operational steam powered sawmill. Sawmills used to dot the landscape of the eastern U.S. Small by today’s standards, these sawmills were the foundation of our nation’s early infrastructure. We’ll learn about this history and discuss the importance of today’s timber industry to Virginia’s economic and ecologic health.

Stop 4. Two in the Hand: Rasawek Hunting Preserve

Quail is today’s poster child for a habitat type supporting many wildlife species. This stop will explore the unique benefits of pine savannahs and how hunting and timber go together. Weather permitting, we’ll see dogs and hunter work together in the favored pastime of quail hunting; a pastime that is enjoying a resurgence due to VDGIF and others working to restore this habitat type.

Return by 5:00 p.m. Come early or stay late to see more of Pleasant Grove Park, with 20 miles of trails and historical interpretation of farming in the area.

Please register by 5:00 p.m., Friday, October 12.  

Contact Adam Downing, adowning@vt.edu, 540-948-6881 OR Jason Fisher, jasonf@vt.edu, 434-476-2147, for more information.

Working Woods Walk

Venture into the Montpelier Demonstration Forest on a two-hour hike with experts in forest conservation. Learn about conservation and cultivation strategies that generate mutual benefits to man and nature.

Register

November

Preparing for Generation NEXT 2-Day Workshop

  • November 1-2
  • Thursday 12:30 - 5:30
  • Friday 9:00 - 4:00
  • SW Virginia Higher Education Center, Abingdon
  • $70 first two family members; $35 each additional family member
  • Includes lunch and refreshments both days, breakfast on Friday, all materials, and access to succession planning professionals.

Join Virginia Cooperative Extension and the Virginia Department of Forestry for this 2-day workshop.  You will learn what steps are necessary to ensure your treasured woodlands stay INtact, IN family, and IN Forest when they are inherited by the next generation.  Professional advisors and experienced landowners will be available to answer all your questions on this important topic. 

Applications will be reviewed upon receipt and you will be notified within a week if your application is accepted.  Multi-generational family participation is strongly encouraged.  

Why is this important?

Draft agendas

Apply by mail

On-line registration will open in September.

Contact Jennifer Gagnon, jgagnon@vt.edu, 540-231-6391, for more information.

Tree Farm Dinner

  • November 8 - tentative
  • Kirk Tree Farm, Suffolk
  • $10/person - includes tour & dinner
  • 4:00-7:00
  • Agenda

Join Bruce Kirk (landowner) and Kea Turner (forester) for a tour of this  property.  Learn about the sustainable managment practices being implemented to promote productivity while protecting water quality.    A short presentation on what it means to be a Tree Farmer will follow the tour.  The evening will wrap up with dinner at Bunny's restaurant.

Register by mail

Register on-line

Contact Jennifer Gagnon, jgagnon@vt.edu, 540-231-6391, for more information.  

Greener than Grass: A Sustainable Landscaping Series

Landscaping for Wildlife

Learn how to landscape for both beauty and sustainability. This four-part series provides the tools you need to identify landscaping elements with negative ecological impact and replace them with designs to benefit pollinators, wildlife, and you.

In part 2, we'll discuss landscaping strategically for the food and shelter wild animals need in each season. Also, government agency representatives will provide information about state and federal grants available to landowners establishing wildlife habitat. 

Register on-line or call (540) 837 1758, x224, M-F 1-5 pm.

December

Winter Tree ID and Potluck

Learn to identify common trees using winter characteristics such as bark, buds, and leaf scars.  Potluck to follow workshop. 

For more information or to register on-line, visit blandy.virginia.edu.

2019

January

Greener than Grass: A Sustainable Landscaping Series

Edible Landscaping

Learn how to landscape for both beauty and sustainability. This four-part series provides the tools you need to identify landscaping elements with negative ecological impact and replace them with designs to benefit pollinators, wildlife, and you.

In part 3, you'll learn that the carbon footprint of homegrown food is almost zero, and you don't have to sacrifice a beautiful garden to grow your own produce. Some of the most striking plants are edible, and deserve pride of place in your landscape design. Learn how to design to delight both the eye and the palate. 


Register on-line or call (540) 837 1758, x224, M-F 1-5 pm.

27th Annual Forest Health Conference

  • January 28-29
  • Blacksburg

Hear the latest on emerging pests, existing issues, and other forest ecology and health topics.  Recertification credtis offered for commercial pesticide applicators; CE credits offered for ISA and SAF members.  

More details coming soon.

February

14th Annual Woods & Wildlife Conference

oin Virginia Cooperative Extension and partners for a full day of presentations and workshops geared towards helping both large and small acreage landowners become better stewards.  

More details and registration available in December.  

Woods & Wildlife Conference

Join Virginia Cooperative Extension and partners for a full day of presentations and workshops geared towards helping both large and small acreage landowners become better stewards.  

More details and registration available in December.  

March

Greener than Grass: A Sustainable Landscaping Series

Alternative Groundcovers

Learn how to landscape for both beauty and sustainability. This four-part series provides the tools you need to identify landscaping elements with negative ecological impact and replace them with designs to benefit pollinators, wildlife, and you.

In part 4, you'll learn that turfgrass, America's biggest crop, has a significantly negative environmental impact. Find out how to replace it with alternative lawns, lower maintenance and friendlier for you and pollinators alike. The workshop includes a panel of homeowners who've experimented with alternative groundcovers and will share their successes and failures. 

Register on-line or call (540) 837 1758, x224, M-F 1-5 pm.