The purpose of outreach and education at the Holt Research Forest is
- to teach principles of forest ecology, and
- to share research results with people making management decisions on Maine’s non-industrial forests–thus closing the gap between the knowledge gained through research and real-world practice.
In 2016, Maine TREE Foundation constructed an outdoor classroom and a parking area to enable the expansion of programming. The construction was done by volunteers from the Outreach Committee of the SFI Implementation Committee (SIC), on-site staff, and others. Grants and donated materials enabled the project to move forward. For more detailed information see this article in the Maine Forest Products Council September newsletter.
The Holt Forest has hosted field trips for various groups. Stations along Holt tour routes serve as focal points for discussions of low-impact harvesting and research findings. Our tour groups have included the Society American Foresters, The Nature Conservancy, directors of state forestry services, Maine Mycology Association, and the Ecosystem Conservation Society of Japan.
Our workshops offer a structured approach to share research findings with people such as landowners, loggers, and natural resource managers. Discussion ranges from Best Management Practices to past land use, soils, bird songs, plant and wildlife population analysis, to land conservation. Guest speakers have included Bill Leak and Mariko Yamasaki of the US Forest Service, Pat Sirois of Maine’s Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Jack Frost of the Maine Professional Loggers Association, and numerous others. Past outreach and education efforts have been funded in part by the Baldwin Foundation and the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund.
Workshops have been held in cooperation with: Holt Woodlands Research Foundation, the University of Maine College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, Maine Audubon Society, Small Woodland Owners Association of Maine, Maine Forest Service, Certified Logging Professional Program, Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Maine Professional Loggers Association, Foresters for Maine Birds, and Forest Stewards Guild.
November 2016: “Growing Oaks in Maine Woods” highlighted the commercial market status and potential markets, forest insect and diseases issues, wildlife habitat values, basic silviculture, and management of oak trees and forests in Maine. Speakers from the USDA Forest Service – Bill Leak & Mariko Yamasaki, University of Maine – Jack Witham, Maine Forest Service – Kevin Doran & Aaron Bergdahl, and Sappi Fine Paper – Paul Larrivee & John Starrett, covered a range of topics from the growing, to the marketing of oak trees in Maine.
November 2016: The Arrowsic Conservation Commission’s annual fall field trip.
Forty students had fun in a light covering of snow. They remeasured a Forest Inventory and Growth plot (FIG) and played games and conducted experiments on this years red oak mast crop (acorns).
Scheduled Events: Research Workshop on Oct. 5, 2017 at Patten Free Library, Bath.
Jack W. Witham, Associate Scientist,
508 Old Stage Road, Arrowsic, ME 04530