University of Georgia Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources Outreach Program and the Connecticut Master Woodland Manager Program named 2023 Family Forest Education Program Award Winners
Excellence in Family Forests Education Programs are jointly recognized each year by the National Association of University Forest Resources Programs (NAUFRP) and the National Woodland Owners Association (NWOA). Awards for excellence are presented for both an Individual Project and a Comprehensive Program that exhibits excellence in education programming benefitting family forest owners across the U.S. Projects and Programs nominated address critical family forest ownership issues using a wide range of educational approaches and programs.
Individual Project Award
The Individual Project Award went to the Connecticut Master Woodland Manager Program. The highly interactive program requires family forest owners to complete 7 required integrated online and field education “modules” and 6 elective events. These provide the education and training necessary for the participants to complete a self-assessment and planning process for their individual woodlands that are submitted for completion of the program. This robust education experience is a collaboration among University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension, Connecticut Forest and Park Association, Forestry Division–Connecticut DEEP, Audubon Connecticut, Yale University, and the Connecticut Land Conservation Coalition, with funding providing by the US Forest Service.
Comprehensive Program Award
The Comprehensive Program Award was presented to the Outreach Program at the University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. The 15 faculty and 4 professional staff members working from 4 locations throughout Georgia continue to provide effective educational programs and resources to address critical issues faced by the states family forest owners ranging from invasive species control to navigating timber tax issues. Over the last 5 years, their work is truly comprehensive, involving applied research, family forest owner needs assessments, development of over 660 publications, conducting 51 programs for over 2,700 participants, and providing a host of on-line resources. Last year alone the images in Bugwood Images and EDDMaps were viewed over 2 million times and their National Timber Tax website garnered over 281,000 unique views. Their list of stakeholders, partners and supporters are lengthy and they annually engage with over 45 agencies and organizations to educate and provide valuable resources for family forest owners in Georgia and beyond.
On behalf of NAUFRP and NWOA our sincere congratulations and thanks to these notable Extension programs, delivery staff, leaders, and nominees.