Current Programs

Our programs are usually free and open to the public, unless stated otherwise. Many of our program sites are on private property or in remote locations, so please register in advance, if requested, and heed the dress or equipment requirements.

  • Sugar House Tour 2020

    CANCELED Saturday, March 28th – 11:00 a.m.

    Bensch Mountain Maple in Newfane, Vermont

    The annual WRWA Sugar House tour will be hosted by Bensch Mountain Maple in Newfane. Bensch Mountain is a unique facility in that it is a brand new facility built in 2018. It is a state of the art facility that still has that “traditional sugar house” feel. The sap for the sugar house is trucked in from two diverse maple orchards, one in Stratton and the other in Brookline Vt. The drastic climate difference between the two locations gives an early start and late finish to the sugaring season. There are 18,000 taps spread over the two locations

    The 4000 sq ft building constructed in 2018 is a post and beam structure using all native lumber harvested from both sugar bushes. The sap is run through a Reverse Osmosis machine then boiled on a wood fired evaporator. It is laid out to to be public friendly with lots of space for visitors to learn about all the steps to the process.  

    Directions: Bensch Mountain Maple is located on Route 30, north of Newfane village and south of Townshend. You can’t miss it with the steam pouring out from the traditional sugar house cupola.

  • Game of Logging -level 3 & 4

    Saturday- Sunday, April 24th -25th – 8:00 a.m to 4:00pm.

    WRWA is pleased to be able to co-sponsor these two advanced levels of the popular Game of Logging training. Completion of the first two levels of GOL is a prerequisite for taking these two advanced courses. Level 3B covers basic limbing and bucking and level 4 addresses storm clean-up, for trees under extreme compression/tension or damaged by weather events. The courses will be offered over two days with Level 3 on Saturday and Level 4 following on Sunday.

    Space in the classes is limited to 6-9 participants.  The instructor will be John Adler, Senior Instructor, New England Woodlands Training.  The cost is $190 per participant per day of training.

    Please bring your own lunch and water. Appropriate clothing is required which consists of long pants and boots, and be prepared for being outside all day in any kind of weather. You are expected to provide your own hard hat, ear/eye protection, safety chaps and a chainsaw with new chain. The instructor will have a pair of chaps and a chainsaw to borrow if needed.

    To register, or for more information, contact .

    To confirm your place in the classes, you will be asked to send a check.  Directions to the site will be sent to registered participants.

    Classes fill quickly, so if you are interested, register ASAP!

  • Deer, invasives, residual density and forest regeneration.

    Friday & Saturday, May 15 and 16

    Jeffrey Ward, Chief Scientist from the Department of Forestry and Horticulture at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station

    130 Austine Drive, Holton Hall 4th Floor, Brattleboro, Vermont

    At 7:00 p.m. Friday evening, May 15, and on a woods walk the next morning. The woods walk will be at Joe and Barbara Mercer’s house in Westminster.  The mailing address is 117 Hickory Ridge Rd. in Putney, but the parcel is just north of the Putney/Westminster line.

    He writes:  Dr. Ralph Nyland (SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry) has pithily noted that to obtain adequate regeneration in northern hardwoods you should “Shoot the deer, poison the beech, and manage the light.” Separately or in combination, overabundant white-tail deer and understories dominated by invasive shrubs have been linked to regeneration failures throughout eastern forests.

    Our talk will begin by examining the interaction of deer browsing and invasive shrubs on the composition and structure of woody regeneration and native plant communities. We have found that in areas with invasive shrub thickets, both deer and the invasives must be controlled. A second study found that for properties where the management goal is to create dense habitat with high species diversity, managers should both encourage hunting to reduce pressure on browse sensitive species and leave as few post-harvest residual trees as possible to maximize growing space for regeneration. 

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