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Land Steward Field Training
July 14 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm| Free
Our Land Steward Field Training is an intensive, hands-on workshop combining theory and practice to give participants a strong grounding in land stewardship work. Participants will learn the challenges and considerations of sustainable land management, while developing knowledge of the urban forest ecosystem. The program will target one section of forested trail as the site for comprehensive improvement.
Light refreshments and water will be provided, but please bring a bagged lunch.
Registration is required. Capacity is limited to 30 people.
In the morning, we will start indoors with a presentation exploring our land use history. We will discuss the impact on today’s forest ecosystem in terms of ecological disturbance, pest pressure, and succession. Presentations will then cover invasive species identification, tree care (assessment, pruning, and planting), and an overview of sustainable trail features.
Once we have laid a foundation of knowledge in the classroom, participants will head into the Schuylkill Center’s forest system to see first-hand the impacts of invasive species while practicing plant identification. We will also tour last year’s restoration site, Fox Glen. This site was constructed with erosion control features and planted with 300 native trees in the spring of 2017. We will see how the planning and implementation of this project has improved forest health while solving some long-standing stormwater issues on the property. Then on our walk back to the building for lunch, we will observe features in the trail system such as grade reversals, tread stabilization, stone steps and waterbars to discuss where and why they should be implemented and how they are constructed.
The second part of the day will focus at the project site along a section of wooded trail near our visitor center where participants will get hands on experience using the tools of the trade. Participants will complete a stewardship project from start to finish including invasive species removal, care of existing native plants, and trail improvements. We will also practice proper pruning and planting of trees and shrubs. Finally, we will construct features to help ensure the trail is free of erosion and requires minimal maintenance for years to come.
With completion of the Land Steward Field Training workday session, participants become certified Trail Team Members and receive a copy of the Natural Lands’ Land for Life stewardship manual. If participants would like to continue developing their stewardship skills, they are encouraged to come to our monthly Restoration Volunteer Workdays where we address topics from this workshop.
Funded in part by the Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Pennsylvania Recreational Trails Program funded through the Federal Highway Administration.