Nature in Your Backyard: Learning about your Woods Series

Online Only

New session hosted on Zoom every Thursday from 7:00 - 8:30 PM between March 23 - April 27, 2023.

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 Nature in Your Backyard Series. 

This workshop series is designed specifically (but not exclusively) for smaller landowners, those with 1-10 acres. Woodlots, large and small, can support our wildlife, protect water quality, generate firewood and other forest products, and provide recreation and enjoyment. 

This series will help you be a better steward of your property. Whether you are interested in adding some native plants to your yard, enhancing habitat for birds, assessing the health of your trees, cutting trees for firewood, or just getting to know what is on your property this series can help you. 

Each session will introduce you to more about your land and help you identify what you can do to further your goals and interests. By the end of the series, you will be able to choose a few management projects to help you meet your goals. 

The Nature in Your Backyard series will walk you through the steps necessary to create a personalized management plan suited to your goals and resources in a way that protects and improves forest integrity. 

The purpose is to help landowners make informed decisions that impact water, wildlife populations, recreational opportunities, and forest health. 

Session 1 - March 23
Nature in Your Backyard
Getting to Know Your Property 

Our first session explores how individual parcels can have a real impact when it comes to providing habitat for wildlife and protecting natural resource values and functions. We will identify what is important to you about your land and begin collecting information about what is currently there. Have you outlined your goals for your property? Are you familiar with your property’s boundaries and possible legal constraints? We will help you inventory of what you have and get you to explore how your property fits into the broader landscape.  We’ll help you map your property, identify actions you can take to help you meet your goals, and set reasonable expectations.

Presenters: Steve Roberge, Extension Forestry Specialist & Professor & Wendy Scribner, Extension Natural Resources Field Specialist, Forestry for Carroll County

Register for Session 1

Session 2 - March 30
Nature in Your Backyard
Forest Ecology 101:  Why Trees Grow Where They Do 

We will cover some of the fundamental principles of forest ecology that you will need to understand as you evaluate and enhance the trees, shrubs, and plants in your backyard. We will discuss the principles of forest succession as well as how soils, sunlight, and topography influence the tree species likely to grow in an area. 

Presenters: Wendy Scribner Extension Natural Resources Field Specialist, Forestry for Carroll County

Register for Session 2

Session 3 - April 6
Nature in Your Backyard
Landscaping To Support a Diversity of Wildlife

An abundance and diversity of wildlife are some of the best indicators of an ecologically well-designed landscape. By understanding how pollinators, birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians select their habitats during each season of the year, we can design landscapes that effectively attract and support a diversity of wildlife. This presentation will provide practical methods for how to design your landscaping to attract and benefit a diversity of wildlife species.

Presenters: Matt Tarr, Extension Professor & State Specialist, Wildlife Habitat

Register for Session 3

Session 4 -  April 13
Nature in Your Backyard
Beescaping 101: How Our Backyards Can Support New England's Native Pollinators

Native Pollinator Ecologist Molly Jacobson, will introduce us to insect pollinators in NH and how we can support them in our own backyards.  We will learn about how pollinators view the landscape, important habitat requirements and considerations for their arrangement on the landscape. Whether your property is a forested woodland, lawn, or somewhere in between you will learn valuable tips for identifying existing pollinator habitat features on your property and opportunities for enhancement.

Presenters: Molly Jacobson, Pollinator Ecologist, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry

Register for Session 4

Session 5 - April 20
Nature in Your Backyard
Keeping Your Woods Healthy: Common Insects and Diseases

We’ll cover some of the more common insect and disease issues in New Hampshire’s trees and forests, including diagnosis and control options. We will also discuss invasive plants, the challenges they present, and management techniques. 

Trees near homes, power lines, and other frequently used spaces can raise concerns about tree health and risk. We’ll discuss some of the considerations involved with assessing the health and structural stability of trees in more developed landscapes. 

Presenters: Dode Gladders, Extension Natural Resources Field Specialist, Forestry for Sullivan County & Greg Jordan, Extension Natural Resources Field Specialist, Forestry for Rockingham County

Register for Session 5

Session 6 - April 27
Nature in Your Backyard:  What’s Your Plan? Putting it Altogether

Using your map and drawing on the information and ideas from previous sessions you will be able to assess your property’s current condition as well as identify actions and activities that can help you enhance the natural features and functions of your land. You can identify a few projects to help you meet your goals.

Presenters: Wendy Scribner, Extension Natural Resources Field Specialist, Forestry for Carroll County, Steve Roberge, Extension Forestry Specialist & Professor & Amy Gaudreau, Extension Forest Stewardship Outreach Program Manager

Register for Session 6

Speakers' Biographies

Molly Jacobson is a native pollinator ecologist at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, New York. Originally from southern New Hampshire, she is a proud UNH alum, having received her B.S. in Wildlife and Conservation Biology in 2017. During this time she conducted research on wild bee declines in the lab of Dr. Sandra Rehan. She then completed her M.S. in Conservation Biology at SUNY-ESF in 2021, studying how wetland restoration can provide key habitat for native pollinators. She has also held positions with US Fish & Wildlife and New Jersey Audubon working with birds and performing public outreach. Molly is greatly interested in the interactions between native plants, insects, and birds that are crucial for functioning ecosystems, and how we can all make a difference in protecting biodiversity in our own yards.  

Matt Tarr is a professional wildlife biologist and forester and he works throughout NH in close partnership with the NH Fish and Game Department and Natural Resources Conservation Service to assist private landowners and communities improve habitat for wildlife. His specialties include improving forested wildlife habitat through commercial timber harvesting, field management to benefit vertebrate and invertebrate wildlife, shrubland and young forest habitat management, wetlands wildlife ecology, and invasive plant ecology.

Greg Jordan is Rockingham County’s Forestry and Natural Resources Field Specialist.  A New Hampshire licensed forester and certified arborist, Greg joined UNH Cooperative Extension in 2017.  Prior to joining UNH, he spent more than a decade working as a consulting forester in southern New Hampshire and Maine.  Greg provides landowners, communities and others with advice on managing woodlots and caring for community forests and trees. He holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in forestry from UNH. 

Dode Gladders serves as field specialist in natural resources in Sullivan County, also known as the Sullivan County Forester position. Before starting with UNH Cooperative Extension in 2013, he managed the forest health program for the State of Delaware for nine years and taught Dendrology at Delaware State University. He also worked as a field forester in the timber industry for several years in the Pacific Northwest. He earned his M.S. degree in forest resources from the University of Georgia. 

Wendy Scribner serves as a field specialist in forestry and natural resources in Carroll County, and she is also known as the Carroll County Forester.  Wendy provides landowners, communities, and others with assistance on managing their woodlots.  Topics include enhancing wildlife habitat, improving forest and tree health, developing management plans, selling timber, and controlling invasive plants.  Wendy is a licensed forester in both NH and Maine and holds a bachelor's and master's degree in Forestry from UNH.

Steven Roberge serves as the State Specialist in Forest Resources for UNH Cooperative Extension. He is a NH licensed forester and prior to his current position, Steve was the field specialist in forestry in Cheshire County for 14 years. In his current role, Steve works with the county field specialists to deliver educational programming to NH’s forest owners and natural resource professionals. He also serves as Extension’s maple specialist, providing outreach on maple syrup production. Steve holds a master's degree in forest science from Yale School of the Environment and a bachelor’s degree in forest science from UNH.