MWS is an 3.5 volunteer training workshop with minimal cost. You will learn how to improve wildlife habitat using sound forest management practices. After 20 years of doing this program I can honestly say people emerge with knowledge that is motivating and exciting. The expectation is that you will develop or improve a forest stewardship plan for your property and share what you learn with others over the next year. More important is to be an advocate for sound forest wildlife management. More information on the program and past programs can be found at: www.naturalresources.umd.edu/EducationalMWS.html . Check it out. Perhaps those of you who have gone through the program can provide an insight or two for those giving it some consideration!
And here's the official invitation to apply, including the link to the application. Please let me know if you have any questions: 410-827-8056; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dear Forest Steward:
The Maryland Woodland Stewards program teaches enthusiastic individuals how to be good stewards of natural land, and good advocates for forest and wildlife stewardship in their community.
The Maryland Woodland Stewards Project (formerly the Coverts Project) is a volunteer training program of University of Maryland Extension. It teaches forest and wildlife management practices and leadership skills to a select group of people each year. In return, participants apply these principles to property they own or manage, and actively encourage others to practice good forest stewardship using the principle of “Neighbor Helping Neighbor.”
It is our pleasure to invite you to apply to become a Maryland Woodland Steward. Over the past 20 years, the program has taught 435 Maryland woodland owners, managers, and environmentally‐concerned citizens how sound woodland management practices can be used to make wildlife healthier, more diverse and abundant; while enhancing other forest benefits like income and aesthetics. In addition to improving larger forest properties, we continue our efforts to target landowners of 1‐10 acres.
Each year, a select group of 25 individuals is chosen from our applicants to participate in a three and one‐half day workshop that emphasizes “education through demonstration.” In 2013 the workshop will be May 2-5 at Shepherd’s Spring Retreat Center in Sharpsburg, Maryland. Through this intensive workshop, participants learn about the ecology and management of Maryland's forests and wildlife, sources of professional assistance to help them, and how they can put this information to work on their properties and in their communities.
If you are selected to receive the training, the seminar cost, including lodging, meals, and reference materials, is only $95. The 2013 workshop is sponsored by American Tree Farm System via the Maryland Tree Farm Committee, Maryland Forest Service, and the Renewable Resource Extension Act. After the training, participants, called Maryland Woodland Stewards, agree to return to their communities and actively serve for one year as advocates of wise forest and wildlife management, contributing at least 40 hours in education and outreach efforts. The emphasis of outreach efforts is on "Neighbor Helping Neighbor," and Maryland Woodland Stewards share information in ways with which they feel comfortable. Some may have talents for speaking or writing while others are able to share through their job or local organizations. We greatly encourage using your own property or the property you manage to demonstrate to neighbors, friends, and relatives, the importance of good forest wildlife management.
The training will help you see the potential in your forest and others’, and will prepare you to recommend to others the professional assistance and resources available to better manage their properties. We request that Maryland Woodland Stewards get to know their local forester, wildlife biologist, Extension agent, Master Gardener, and others who are valuable contacts and sources of information.
Please also refer to the brochure, application, and position announcement found on our website that clarify what we are asking of participants, as well as give an overview of the training workshop topics and activities. To be considered for the program, your completed application is due on March 17, 2013. If you are selected to participate in the Maryland Woodland Steward training you will be considered a volunteer with the University of Maryland Extension. Being a volunteer provides you liability protection for activities you may undertake on behalf of the Maryland Woodland Stewards program. If you would like to contact another Maryland Woodland Steward in your area or have questions or concerns about the program please feel to call me directly.
It has been our experience over the last 20 years that the workshop opens the eyes of participants to a whole new world of knowledge they continue to use for the rest of their lives. Our society is so focused on technology that the opportunity to learn about the natural world of wildlife and forestry is a pleasant diversion. The workshop also allows you to meet other individuals with shared interests, and many Maryland Woodland Stewards develop relationships with others that last for a lifetime. A 20‐year report on the program sums up the accomplishments of program members and shares some personal success stories.
Remember, March 17th is the deadline for applications. You will be notified by March 22 regarding your selection. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with questions.
We look forward to your interest and participation.
Forest Stewardship Educator
Natural Resource Extension Specialist
Additional materials available at http://www.naturalresources.umd.edu/EducationalMWS.html.
Full application link: https://umd.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_b93fvWJ3nvuT8H3.
410-827-8056 ext. 125
PO Box 169
124 Wye Narrows Rd.
Queenstown, MD 21658