Forest landowners ‘retreat’ to the woods

Beginning Woodland Owners’ Retreat
Retreat participants learn to measure and value the trees in their woods. Photo by Heidi Ketler.

Eastern Virginia landowners can learn more about actively managing their forestlands during the annual Beginning Woodland Owners’ Retreat Sept. 20-21 at the New Kent Forestry Center near Providence Forge.

Topics include forest stewardship planning, pine management, timber sales, wildlife management, tree identification, and more. A tour of local properties will showcase forest management in action.

Sponsoring partners for the retreat are the Virginia Department of ForestryVirginia Cooperative Extension, and the Virginia Forest Landowner Education Program.

“This program provides a great introduction to forest management issues, especially for those new to land ownership,” said Ellen Powell of the Virginia Department of Forestry.

Jennifer Gagnon, coordinator of the Virginia Forest Landowner Education Program, based in Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment, said, “We use a combination of classroom and field sessions, taught by experts, to get participants fully engaged in learning. The weekend retreat format also enables people to share their experiences with other landowners.”

Full retreat registration, including materials, meals, and lodging on Sept. 19 and 20, is $95 per person or $170 per couple. For those who live nearby, a commuter option, including materials and meals only, is $55 per person or $90 per couple.

To register online or download a mail-in brochure, visit The deadline to register is Sept. 6. For more information, contact Jennifer Gagnon at 540-231-6391 or

Persons with disabilities who desire any assistive devices, services, or other accommodations to participate in this activity may also contact Jennifer Gagnon during the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., no later than Sept. 6. The TDD number is 800-828-1120.

augusta free press news