Past Programs

  • Wildlife Patch Cut Tour -Lee and Diana Todd’s woodlot

    Saturday, October 7, 2:00-3:30 p.m.  Lee and Diana Todd’s woodlot in Halifax

    Tour of a wildlife patch cut after three years of regrowth.

    Landowners Diana and Lee Todd will host a second WRWA visit to their patch cut in Halifax, Vt. What does a site cleared with a forest mulcher (aka Brontosaurus) look like after three growing seasons? Come take a look at a patch cut that was cleared in the fall of 2014. The project’s goal is to develop early successional habitat for wildlife. The patch is at the intersection of two roads, so it’s very visible to the neighbors. The typical reaction after the work was done: “It looks like a bomb went off!” On this field trip, we will see how the patch has changed since the cut, the vegetation that is colonizing the site, and the wildlife that has returned.

    The patch cut is directly across the road from the house. We’ll walk along the road a bit, then ramble through the flat, easy terrain of the patch itself, covering no more than about a half mile. Wear footwear suitable for uneven surfaces and bring insect and tick repellant.

    For more information, contact Diana Todd at


    From Brattleboro: From exit 2 of I-91, take Route 9 west for about 12.5 miles. At a big bend in the road just before ascending Hogback Mountain, turn left (south) onto Butterfield Rd. Follow Butterfield Road about 3.5 miles until it ends at a T-intersection. Turn right (west) onto Hatch School Road and go a few hundred yards to the first house on the left (#273, white house, white barn). Park on the lawn. (It’s tough. It can take it.)

    From Wilmington: Take Route 9 east. After passing the 100-mile view at Hogback, descend the mountain and take the first right (south) onto Butterfield Road. (Just before this turn, there will be a blue-roofed barn on the north side of Route 9.) Then follow the directions as above.



  • Cersosimo Lumber Company Tour

    Thursday, October 5,  5:00 – 7:00 P.M.   Cersosimo Lumber Company Mill in Vernon

    Cersosimo Lumber Company will host WRWA at their facility in Vernon, Vermont. This sawmill operation produces hardwood lumber and White Pine lumber from local forests that reaches markets all over the globe.

    Dress appropriately for a short walk; closed-toed footwear is required. Our hosts will provide hearing protection and safety glasses. All participants must be at least 12-years old, and no pets are allowed on the tour.

    If you plan to attend, please contact Eric Parenti (802-254-4508 ext. 129- office, 603-355-6980 – cell, by September 29 so that Cersosimo will know how many guests to prepare for.


    From the south end of Main Street in Brattleboro (near the Brattleboro Food Co-op) go east towards the bridge over the Connecticut River. Just beyond Main Street, make a quick right turn (south) onto Route 142. (Do not go over the bridge into N.H.). Continue south about two miles, looking for a red Cersosimo office building on the right (west side of Route 142). Park across the road from the red building.


  • WRWA Annual Meeting and Potluck Lunch

    Molly Stark State Park, 705 Route 9 East, Wilmington, Vt.

    Saturday, September 9 (Rain or shine), 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

    IMPORTANT: Please provide information by Thursday, September 7, if you plan to attend the meeting. Please let Carol Morrison ( know whether you would prefer a hamburger made from locally produced beef, Grand Kosher hot dog (low-fat, no filler), or a Vegetarian Burger. Your timely notification will help to ensure that we have adequate grill foods. You are welcome to enjoy more than one of the items; just let Carol know. Thank you!


    Registration: Enjoy coffee and donuts while visiting with Woodlands friends, old and new.

    Welcome to Molly Stark State Park

    Brief business meeting presided over by WRWA President Marli Rabinowitz.

    Tour led by Tim Morton, State Forester from Vermont’s Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, of this winter’s spruce patch clear-cuts designed by FPR and completed by Long View Forests Inc. The purpose of this cut was to increase trail views and enhance habitat for snowshoe hare while protecting existing recreation trails and park infrastructure. The project features large openings; retained connector habitat; riparian zone protection; and salvage of declining spruce, ash, and fir timber. If there is time, we will look at some of the hardwood areas and patch cuts that will be harvested next winter (if we have one!).


    Grill Master (and Windham/Windsor Counties Forester) Sam Schneski will cook our hamburgers, hot dogs, and vegetarian burgers. If you can, please bring a potluck dish to share as well as a suitable serving utensil. At a recent meeting, Past President Stu Thurber remarked that the lunch gets better each year! Again, please let Carol Morrison ( know by September 7 whether you will want a hamburger, hot dog, vegetarian burger (or all the above!) If you do not have e-mail, please call Dana Ruppert at Bill Guenther’s office (802-257-7967, Ext. 302).


    Diana Todd (President of Hogback Mountain Conservation Association and past WRWA Trustee) will make a presentation about HMCA’s 10-year program to develop Early Successional Habitat on the former ski slopes in the conservation area. This experimental program hopes to combine ESH-generation with recreational use of the former ski slopes. Diana will share preliminary results for this program that is now in its fifth year.

    Bill Guenther, Windham County Forester, will provide a legislative update and update on wood products market.

    Let’s have a “Green” Meeting! Molly Stark State Park provides a pleasant outdoor meeting venue. As in recent years, we continue to strive to “green” the meeting. To help, we ask that everyone be part of the “Green Team.”

    What to bring:

    Potluck dish for lunch, including a serving utensil

    Travel mug for beverages

    Chair, if you prefer a seat with a back. There also is ample seating at the picnic benches.

    For the field trip, suitable footwear for forest trails with moderate hills; insect and tick repellant; and, if it suits your needs or style, walking sticks.

    $7.00 registration fee per person to cover grilling supplies and other meeting expenses

    (Note: You do NOT need to pay the park admission fee to attend the WRWA meeting.)


    Coming from the East, take exit 2 from Interstate 91. Turn right (west) onto Route 9 and go about 15 miles. Turn left into the Park and proceed along the paved road to the picnic pavilion.

    Coming from the West, at the intersection of Routes 9 and 100 in downtown Wilmington, go east on Route 9 for 3.3 miles. Turn right into the Park and proceed along the paved road to the picnic pavilion.


    Please park in the designated parking area near the park office. If we need overflow parking, a park representative will direct the cars.


    The Park does allow dogs that are on a leash. If you bring your dog, please do so only if it is well socialized to people and other dogs. Keep your dog on a short leash (< 6 feet), bring a water bowl, and clean up after your pet.



  • Doug Cox’s Violin Shop Tour

    Friday, August 4, 3:30-5:00 p.m.

    WRWA will visit the most skilled luthier (maker of stringed instruments) in New England. Local craftsman Doug Cox studied his craft in Mittenwald, Germany, at one of the oldest violin schools in the world. Doug will open his Brattleboro shop to us for a look at how these fine instruments, worth more than their weight in gold, are produced. This tour will offer a look into the maximum economic value added that our local woodlands can provide.

    Due to space restrictions, attendance is limited to 18 participants, and all must be at lease 16 years old. If you want to attend, please contact County Forester Bill Guenther by July 28 at or 802-257-7967 (ext. 305). Bill will provide all participants with the West Brattleboro carpool location, where participants will meet at 3:15 p.m.

    WRWA is offering this program first to members. After July 28, we will open up any available slots to the public. Please note that Doug’s studio is not wheelchair accessible. 


  • Scott Farm Timber Harvest Tour

    July 25, Tuesday, 5:30 PM. Forester Tour of Recent Timber Harvest on Scott Farm.

    Join Consulting Forester Ian Martin and County Forester Bill Guenther, for a tour of a recent timber harvest on a portion of the historic 500+ acre Scott Farm in Dummerston. The harvesting crew from Long View Forest Inc. in Westminster used a mechanical harvester and a forwarder, and hand-felled some of the larger trees. Most of the volume removed was large over-mature white pines that yielded high volumes per acre.  During the tour, we will discuss some white pine health problems that we have seen in recent years, including needle blights and Caliciopsis canker.

    The tour is family friendly, and can be enjoyed by all ages. Scott Farm will allow people to bring well-behaved dogs on short leashes. The terrain is moderate, mostly on logging roads, though we will walk on some logging slash. Given our local tick populations, please be safe and use repellent. As we can have warm weather in July, participants should also bring water for hydration.

    Parking is limited at the tour site, so we will carpool from Dummerston Town Office (1523 Middle Road) in Dummerston Center. Please arrive at the Town Office by 5:30 p.m., so that we can arrange the carpooling and use as few vehicles as possible. The tour site is just a few minutes drive from the Town Office.

    For more information, contact County Forester Bill Guenther at or 802-257-7967 (ext.305)

  • Vermont Coverts -Woodland Owner Cooperator Training

    This program is not sponsored by WRWA but may be of interest some members

    September 8-10th,  Woodland Owner Cooperator Training 

    Do you love your woodland?  Enjoy seeing birds and other wildlife?  Want to learn how a healthy forest can enhance wildlife habitat, provide recreational and timber benefits?  Are you interested in reaching out to others in your community?  If you answered yes to any of these then join us for the Coverts Woodland Owner Training.  It will allow you to connect with resource professionals and other landowners just like you while learning how you can improve your woodland.  The fall program dates are September 8-10 and will be held at Kehoe Conservation Camp in Hydeville, VT.  Space is limited so register now!  The program is free!  To learn more, see a sample agenda or download an application visit our website  You can also contact us by calling Lisa Sausville at 802-877-2777 or e-mail .


  • Sugarhouse Tour at Bunker Farm

    March 25, Saturday, 11 AM. Sugarhouse Tour at Bunker Farm

    The 110-acre Bunker Farm is run by two families with expertise in naturally raising meats, annuals, and perennials, as well as maple syrup. The farm is also an agricultural educational center for students and the community. Visit the sugarhouse, watch the boiling process, and sample the delicious syrup, which won Best In Show at the 2016 Maplerama tasting competition. Take a tour of the 16-acre working sugar bush and visit with the farm animals. This family-friendly event is free and open to the public. Bunker Farm is located at 857 Bunker Road, Dummerston. More information and directions here.

  • Big Tree Tour 2017

    November 11, Saturday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. — The BIG Tree Tour (rain or shine)

    Bill Guenther, Windham County Forester, will once again lead a daylong tour to view some of the largest trees in Windham County, either champions or significant trees on the Vermont Big Tree Register. The tour is free and open to the public. We ask that you please leave your dog at home.

    Participants need to wear sturdy footgear and clothes to match the weather, and to bring water and lunch. Lunch will likely be from 12:30 – 1:00 p.m. at the Newfane Courthouse.

    The tour will kick off at the information booth on the Brattleboro Common at the intersection of Park Place and Putney Road. There is ample parking on nearby streets.  After a brief intro, we will walk to the first tree at the Inn on Putney Road B&B, walk back to our cars and then drive to the rest.  From the start in Brattleboro, we will finish the tour in Harmonyvillle (hamlet in the Town of Townshend).

    Most of these trees are found on private property; therefore, folks on the tour are encouraged to carpool to lessen the impact of the tour. It is also very difficult to keep a lot of cars together, so it is hoped that participants will be willing to carpool together wherever possible.

    After a short introduction, the tour will depart at 8:45 SHARP, so don’t be late! For more information contact Bill Guenther at the Extension Service Office, 257-7967, Ext. 305. or

    A booklet will be provided that includes the day’s schedule, types of trees, locations, and tree identification information. There is also an explanation of how to take the three measurements that are used to qualify a tree for the Big Tree Register.

    The tour involves driving from one area to the next, then walking to the big trees, which are spread out around the county. There will be seven trees on the tour this year. The last 6 trees are within 100 yards of parking.

    In the morning, we will visit what will likely become the state’s largest Japanese Maple, which we will measure on the tour. Following that will be the Runner-up Black Cherry, State Champion Red Mulberry, and the runner-up Butternut at the late Esther Falk’s residence.

    For those who wish to join just the afternoon portion of the tour, you can link up with the group at the Newfane Courthouse between 12:30 and 1:00 p.m. The afternoon will include visits to three champion trees – Apple, Sycamore, and White Pine.

    Please contact Bill Guenther or check back at the WRWA website,,  to confirm the final schedule.



  • Into the Woods with Our Children

    April 7, Friday, 7 PM. Into the Woods with Our Children

    Renowned naturalist Lynn Levine of Dummerston will reveal her hands-on approach to awakening in youngsters an enduring love of the natural world. A focus of her talk will be how to break down barriers so children will want to go into the woods, rather than play with their electronic devices, and how we can help them develop a need to return to the woods again and again. A consulting forester, environmental educator, and author of nature-based books for adults and children, Lynn has created and taught nature-based curricula for the Vermont Institute of Natural Resources and local elementary schools. Her talk should be particularly pertinent for parents and environmental and science teachers. This free program is open to the public and co-sponsored by WRWA, the Vermont Learning Collaborative, Bonnyvale Environmental Education Center, Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society, Dummerston Conservation Commission, Putney Mountain Association, and Windmill Hill Pinnacle Association. The presentation will take place at Vermont Learning Collaborative, 471 US Route 5, Dummerston, VT. More information is here. Directions are here.

  • Visit to Harvard Forest

    On Saturday April 23, 2017

    Eight WRWA members and friends viewed the stunning dioramas at the Harvard Forest’s Fisher Museum in Petersham, MA, enjoyed a picnic lunch outside the museum, and visited selected sites in the large forest.

    The 3,750-acre Harvard Forest is owned and managed by Harvard University.  Founded in 1907 as an ecological research area, forestry education was moved to Petersham in 1914; and the Harvard Forest was made a graduate school focusing on forest biology, conservation, land use history, and the effects of environmental change on forest ecology.  The paper records maintained by the Harvard Forest represent the longest continuous history of any major forest in the United States.

    The 23 handmade dioramas in the Fisher Museum show changes in the New England landscape and forests from the early 1700s by depicting the clearing of farmland, conservation practices, and management of the land.  A 1936 booklet describes the construction of the models, which represent the landscape in detail.  For example, the people are carefully made to scale, and the trees are made of strands of copper wire to form the trunks, boughs, and tiny branches.

    After viewing the dioramas, Site and Research Manager Audrey Barker Plotkin led everyone on a short hike to a site studying forest succession and how different species respond to the same conditions.Along the way she described the foci of other research study sites:  forest regeneration since the 1938 hurricane, forest biomass development over time, mycorrhizal association between pines and hardwoods, regeneration of native species after a clear-cut of white pine, and regeneration in protected and unprotected areas from browsing by deer and moose, to name a few.

    You can read more about this special trip in a joint write-up of the event by Margaret MacDonald and Bob DeSiervo in the Spring 2016 Woodlot Tips.  More information about the forest is also available at


    Audrey Barker Plotkin, Site and Research Manager, explains the purpose and management of a study site.

    Audrey Plotkin discusses the many different forest study sites at the Harvard Forest.







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