Forestry Assistance Program Workshops & Events
Serving: BENZIE, GRAND TRAVERSE, AND LEELANAU CONSERVATION DISTRICTS
FORESTRY EVENTS 2021
Hazelnuts in Agroforestry Twilight Tour
Women Owning Woodlands (W.O.W.) Hike...anyone from any county can register!
On Tuesday, August 3rd from 10 am to noon, the Leelanau Conservation District is joining with Women Owning Woodlands (W.O.W.) to host a hike through a woman-owned forest property in Maple City.
Participants will be able to experience different examples of forest management and learn from local professionals including District Forester Kama Ross, Procurement Forester with Silver Leaf Sawmill Bryan Watters, Procurement Forester with Biewer Forest Management Jon Witkowski, and Consulting Forester Lynn Bakker. Some topics of discussion will be managing red pine plantations, what to anticipate when doing a harvest, and enhancing fallow fields and small forest openings for diverse wildlife habitat.
This free event is geared for women to learn and share about becoming a confident forest steward, though all are welcome to attend. The hike involves hilly terrain and will occur rain or shine.
To register, contact Mary Roth at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (231) 256-9783. Address will be provided upon registration.
Trees for School Forests Project Under Way: Need Helpers!
The Frankfort-Elberta School community has been in full force to help turn their 40-acre school forest into a more diverse and healthier habitat. The mature red pine plantations have been serving as healthy timber producing acres, but the land is now ready to be restored to northern hardwoods and the community’s recent efforts are helping that process.
So far, the bulk of the work has been done—invasive species such as honeysuckle and autumn olive, were professionally treated by Wildlife & Wetlands Solutions; the mature red pine was harvested and made into construction lumber by Biewer Lumber Company; and 2,500 bare root native trees and shrubs were planted by students and Andrew Milliron of Ironway Outdoors this spring.
The next step is to protect those new seedlings from deer and rabbit browse so that they can flourish, and in turn, provide the food and cover for wildlife in the coming years.
The project has been supported by grants; however, volunteer service is needed to have long-term success on the school forests which are open to the public for hiking and exploring.
Wednesday, June 30th from 10:00 am to noon is the first scheduled workbee and volunteers are asked to bring a hammer and their own drinking water. Volunteers are needed to pound in bamboo stakes and zip tie mesh planting tubes around the newly planted seedlings.
Meet at the Frankfort-Elberta Areas Schools Forest, 1 3/4 miles east of the City of Frankfort on the north side of M-115. Look for Benzie Conservation District signs.
For more information, please contact District Forester, Kama Ross at 231-256-9783 or email@example.com. Additional workbees will be scheduled later this summer.
Restoring Benzie County Forests, With Students in Mind
The Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network (ISN) is a collaboration of over 60 highly motivated and respected organizations in the region. ISN’s mission is to protect, enhance, and promote northwest Michigan's natural communities through terrestrial invasive plant management and outreach. Its service area includes Manistee, Benzie, Leelanau, and Grand Traverse counties. More information can be found at HabitatMatters.org.
Frankfort: Two expanses of forest, just east of Frankfort in Benzie County, are gradually being restored with the goal of natural communities being returned to their original state. These parcels, acquired by Frankfort/Elberta Public Schools, have seen much change - from original cutover, ongoing farming, and then abandonment. This naturally led to the establishment of a healthy population of woody invasive shrubs like honeysuckle, Japanese barberry, and autumn olive. These species are opportunistic in settings such as this (and quickly take over).
Ultimately, another goal is to restore the area for educational use.
Kama Ross, FAP Forester for Benzie, Grand Traverse, and Leelanau Counties refers to the Forest Stewardship website to explain. "The concept of school forests in Michigan dates back to 1925 with the Negaunee Schools in the Upper Peninsula. The program grew statewide in 1931 when the Municipal Forest Act was passed by the Michigan Legislature, allowing the Department of Conservation (i.e. the Michigan DNR) to take tax reverted properties (those with delinquent property tax payments) and transfer ownership to schools and government organizations. The forests are not just for schools; they are open to public access, providing both educational opportunities and community-wide benefit."
In the meantime, there's a lot of work to do. First, determining the best management practices and subsequent restoration requires diving into published information, historical forest records, and looking at neighboring parcels.
Liana May, Owner of Borealis Consulting, has been working diligently to determine the design and process which she says is, "one of the most challenging parts of the process."
"Though we rely on the best published information, every forested area is different; soils, microclimate, ecological interactions, all vary from site to site; so we have designed what we think will be a successful start to a diverse and climate resilient hardwood stand that provides well for wildlife."
Seeing that design come to life is already well underway. In January of this year, Wildlife and Wetlands Solutions, LLC began the process of removing the woody invasives on site - an impressive endeavor. Now, much of the standing red pine is being logged. Other beneficial trees will be left standing including white pine, black cherry, sugar maple, white spruce, and American beech. Come spring, new seedlings will be planted, some with an emphasis on replacing beech and ash trees affected by insect and disease.
Kama admits she is a bit worried about seedling success with no water source on the property but only time will tell which trees do the best on these sites.
Eventually, students from the nearby schools will be able to see the forest regeneration first-hand and maybe even assist with some invasive species removal. Garlic mustard is present and will likely worsen at first due to the shrub removal and subsequent logging. Members of the public may also have the opportunity to assist with bare root seedling planting although those plans are still in development. If you would like to learn more about this project and/or be kept in the loop regarding volunteer opportunities, please contact Kama directly - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spring Planting Workshop
Thurs, March 11, 2021
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
BEULAH - The Benzie Conservation District is sponsoring a Spring Planting Workshop on Thursday, March 11, 6:30-8:00 pm virtually via Zoom. It's time to start planning for your spring planting projects! Join BCD staff to learn about the bare-root native tree and shrub seedlings available through the Conservation District this spring. Gain understanding on matching the right tree to the right site for the right reason with District Forester, Kama Ross. Advanced planning, preparing the site, amending the soil, proper planting techniques and follow-up care will all be discussed to help you have good success with any sized planting project.
New species that are available through our Assisted Range Expansion Project, ATREP, will be presented by Maddy Baroli, Project Manager. Planting species that are native to central and southern Michigan hopes to help mitigate the challenges of climate change and help keep our forest landscape diverse and vibrant. Visit www.atrep.net for more information.
Conservation Districts across the country have been offering quality, affordable trees and shrubs for decades. This workshop will help landowners make good decisions as they make planting decisions. There is no cost to attend the workshop, but registration is required to receive the Zoom link, and can be done by contacting Aimé Merizon, at the Benzie Conservation District at email@example.com, by March 10. Visit the District’s website for more information about the Spring Seedling Sale and native trees and shrubs available: www.benziecd.org/seedling-sale.
FORESTRY EVENTS 2020
EYES ON THE FOREST: HOW TO BE THE BEST STEWARD OF YOUR TREES AND FOREST
- September 01, 2020
- 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
- MGANM Member
current year member of MGANM
- Public – $5.00
Suggested $5 donation for non-member attendee.
Kama will share some of the major forest stresses facing our trees- how to correctly identify them, how to mitigate their impacts through seasonal inspections and how to implement management practices based on science so that we can preserve this valuable natural resource, our forests, for future generations. Being the "Best Steward" of your property means being well-informed, getting out there and noticing changes and working with qualified local tree professionals to help keep your trees and shrubs healthy, vigorously growing and providing all the benefits that we need every day.
Kama Ross has been the Forestry Assistance Program (FAP) Forester for Leelanau, Benzie and Grand Traverse Conservation Districts since October 2013. Prior to this position, Kama was the FAP Forester for Wexford and Missaukee Conservation Districts. She also enjoyed a career as an outdoor and environmental educator at Kettunen Center, Michigan’s 4-H Conference Center in Tustin. She is very glad to be sharing her passion for forestry with area landowners.
Kama is a co-owner of two Northern Michigan Certified Tree Farms since 1990. After receiving her forestry degree from Michigan State University, she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay.
“Our forests today face many stresses, but there is a lot we can all be doing to protect our beautiful forests. Kama does a great job of educating us all” says Michele Worden, President of the Master Gardener Association of Northwest Michigan.
The Master Gardener Association of Northwest Michigan (MGANM) furthers the horticulture education activities of MSU Extension through monthly educational presentations. Meetings are held monthly on the first Tuesday of the month and are open to the public. A $5 donation from non-members is appreciated. For certified master gardeners meeting attendance earns credits toward volunteer and education hours. For more information visit mganm.org.
Painting: "Metamorphosis" by Tom Ford, local naturalist and wildlife artist. Copyrighted.
Planting Workshop: Balance Your Backyard with Trees, Bees & Expertise!
The Benzie Conservation District is sponsoring a spring Planting Workshop on Wednesday, March 11, 6:30-8:30 pm at the Almira Township Hall, 19639 Maple St, Lake Ann, MI 49650.
This is a great workshop to kick-start spring planting projects! Learn about new species to add to yards or acreage through our Assisted Tree Range Expansion Project, ATREP, with Maddy Baroli, Project Manager. Planting species that are native to southern Michigan hopes to help mitigate the challenges of climate change and help keep our forest landscape diverse and vibrant. Visit www.atrep.net for more information, or check out Benzie CD’s Spring Seedling catalog for species information at www.benziecd.org.
Participants will gain understanding on matching “the right tree to the right site for the right reason” with District Forester, Kama Ross. She will provide information about the native tree and shrub species that the Benzie Conservation District is offering this spring through the annual bare-root seedling sale. Advanced planning, preparing the site, amending the soil, proper planting techniques and follow-up care will all be discussed to help landowners succeed with any sized planting project.
Finally, enjoy a presentation by Tom Ford, locally renowned naturalist and wildlife artist. A lifelong Audubon member and avid gardener, Ford will offer guidance for planning and growing a wildlife-friendly yard.
This workshop has been approved by the MAEAP (Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program) Phase I Credit.
There is no cost to attend the workshop, but registration is appreciated, and can be done by contacting Aimé Merizon at the Benzie Conservation District at 231-882-4391, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Forestry Events 2019
- Small Farms Conference, Friday January 25—Saturday January 26th Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, Acme. Great sessions and information booths throughout the two-day event. The Forestry Assistance Program will be manning a booth—come join us! For more information visit: www.smallfarmconference.com/
- "American Chestnuts Today" by Dr. Carmen Medina Mora, Tuesday, February 5, 6:30 - 8:00 pm, Grand Traverse Conservation District, 1450 Cass Road, Traverse City. Join Dr. Medina Mora, from Michigan State University’s Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences, as we discuss the return of the American Chestnut. Contact the Leelanau Conservation District at 231-256-9783 for more information.
- Gaylord Ultimate Hunting Expo, March 15-17, FAP Foresters will hold a booth, for more information visitwww.gaylordhuntingexpo.com/
- Spring planting workshops in all three counties:
- Leelanau CD—Wed. March 20, 6:30-8:30 pm, 8527 E. Government Center Drive, Suttons Bay. Emphasis on invasive species removal techniques with and without the use of chemicals by Liana May, Borealis Consulting and Katie Grzesiak NW Michigan Invasive Species Network Coordinator. LCD staff with recommendations on the native plants to replace them with.
- Benzie CD—Thurs. March 21, 6:30-8:30 pm, Homestead Township Hall, Honor, "Remove Invasives; Plant Natives!"
- Grand Traverse CD—date tbd
- Hands-on Pruning Demonstration with Fritz Girrbach of Brothers Tree Service, Saturday, March 23, 10:00 am to noon, GTCD, 1450 Cass Road, Traverse City. Before the trees leave dormancy, learn how to do corrective pruning on all types of trees and shrubs. $5/person. Contact the Leelanau Conservation District at 231-256-9783.
- "Forest Mushrooms," presentation by Linda Schribner, Wednesday, April 3, 6:30-8:30 pm, Mills Community Room, Benzonia. Linda is a certified forager who can commercially harvest and sell wild mushrooms in Michigan, $10/person. Contact the Benzie Conservation District at 231-882-4391; email@example.com.
For more information or to register, contact Kama Ross, District Forester, Leelanau, Grand Traverse and Benzie Conservation Districts
at 231-256-9783, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Forestry Events 2018
Contact District Forester, Kama Ross, for more information:
email@example.com or call 231-256-9783
[To enlarge, double-click on flyer and open in new window or save to desktop.]
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 231-256-9783
[To enlarge, double-click on flyer and open in new window or save to desktop.]
Public Input Welcomed!
Safety & Woods Worker (SAWW) Chainsaw Safety Training
SAWW Training is an umbrella organization that promotes safe and efficient chainsaw use, for both professionals and backyard chainsaw operators. The four full-day course begins January 24, 2018, and is designed for both professionals and backyard chainsaw operators. The program is limited to 10 participants and we would like to offer the opportunity to tree professionals, as well as to area landowners. Click on link to download flyer.
Forestry Field Day at Interlochen Center for the Arts!
Saturday, September 9, 2017; from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
Interlochen Center for the Arts, 4000 Highway M-137, Interlochen
"Ties to the Land": Family Forest Planning Workshop
Saturday, September 16, 2017; from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
Grand Traverse Conservation District, Boardman Nature Center Community Room, 1450 Cass Road, Traverse City
Got spring fever? Click here for info on our Planting Workshop!