Savannah Valley District

Woods in Your Backyard

Amanda Taylor, Forestry and Natural Resources Agent

Introductory lecture by Amanda Taylor

The word “woods” often evokes romantic images of vast forests, when really, you probably have some woods in your backyard. Your quarter acre of pine trees or pollinator garden may not be very big, but small landowners play a key role in the conservation of wildlife habitat. 

On October 7th, around a dozen small landowners, environmental educators, and green professionals gathered in Jasper County to explore the Woods in Your Backyard curriculum. This program, developed primarily by Maryland Cooperative Extension, was facilitated by commercial horticulture agent Philip Carnley, forestry and wildlife agent Janet Steele, and forestry and natural resources agent Amanda Taylor. The Blue Heron Nature Center, managed by Jasper County Soil and Water Conservation District, hosted the event. 

Woods in Your Backyard covers the basics of what small landowners need to know to transform their wooded land into a thriving habitat. Participants were guided through exercises related to identifying areas of improvement and understanding natural processes, and resources for making their goals a reality.

Field discussion led by Janet Steele

The workshop concluded with a trip outside to evaluate the woods surrounding the venue. Utilizing knowledge gained in the workshop, and a handy forest health evaluation sheet, participants were able to identify both healthy and unhealthy aspects of the woods based on their own objectives. Participants were asked to consider all aspects of the program in context with their land and were sent home with additional resources.

Interested in programs like these? Keep an eye on the Clemson Extension calendar. The Forestry and Natural Resources team provides workshops like Woods in Your Backyard throughout the year and across the state.

Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to people of all ages, regardless of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital or family status, and is an equal opportunity employer.