Virginia forest landowners looking to gain an understanding of how to keep their woods healthy and productive can do so in the comfort of their own home.
Virginia Cooperative Extension and the Virginia Forest Landowner Education Program in Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment are offering an online course to help private landowners become better stewards of their land.
The 12-week Online Woodland Options for Landowners course, which runs from May 15 to Aug. 4, teaches basic management principles and techniques for both novice and veteran private forest landowners. Materials provided include four reference books and access to an online a tree identification tutorial.
Natural resource professionals and experienced landowners serve as mentors for the students and help with questions via the course Group Discussion Board.
“Interest in this course, now in its 14th year, continues to grow,” said Jennifer Gagnon, coordinator of the Virginia Forest Landowner Education Program. “Participants love the convenience of an online course and appreciate the opportunity to connect with experts as well as experienced landowners.”
Participants may attend an optional field trip at the conclusion of the course, which allows them to hone their new skills and interact with one another and with natural resource professionals. Those participants who complete all of the optional advanced assignments, which require additional materials, can finish the course with a draft forest management plan.
The registration fee is $45 per family. Participants must have access to a computer with a web browser and an email account; access to a printer is strongly recommended.