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Vermont Family Forests
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VFF Workshops and Events &

Hogback Community College Courses

We usually hold VFF workshops & events rain or shine, but sometimes weather conditions will cause us to cancel a workshop. We ask that you call the VFF offices (453-7728) the morning of the workshop in case of rain, snow, or high winds. We will leave a message on the voicemail message if the workshop is cancelled.

Visit our Events Gallery to see the programs we've offered in the past!

Click on the titles below for in-depth course descriptions and registration information for current and up-coming courses:

Workshops and Events

 

Hogback Community College Courses

 

Hogback Community College (HCC) is a loose but energetic confederation of teachers and learners in the Five-Town Forest of northeastern Addison County, Vermont. Our goal in forming HCC is to create a true community college—one that celebrates and sustains this community by offering a diverse, changing array of useful and attractive courses. These 1- and 2-credit (16-32 hours of instruction) courses offer in-depth explorations on the subjects they cover.

 

 

 

2016 WINTER SOLSTICE CELEBRATION

Date: December 21

Time: 5:30-8:00pm

Location: The Waterworks, 4783 Plank Road, Bristol.

Come one, come all to the annual Winter Solstice gathering at the Waterworks property in Bristol!

 

Follow the half-mile trail lit by luminaria to the Norton Brook Reservoir at the Waterworks and join the festivities. There'll be a bonfire, potluck, music by Rick Cebellos and friends, community singing, and a bit of solstice pageantry—bringing in the light and offering gratitude to the forest for its boundless gifts.


Bring a potluck dish to share, a musical instrument if you like, a flashlight or headlamp, warm layers and boots, and a song in your heart! Be prepared for ice and/or snow on the trail to the reservoir.

 

Please leave pets at home.

 

 

 

 

GAME OF LOGGING TRAINING PROGRAM, Spring 2017

The Game of Logging training program combines Scandinavian logging techniques with the latest systems for working safely around trees. We cannot overstate the value of these courses. We have participants who’ve used chainsaws for 30 years prior to taking GOL Level I say that the course changed the way they work in the woods. This fall, we'll be offering levels 1 & 2 of the training program, as well as a special Storm Damage Recovery session. The GOL courses build on the previous ones and must be taken in sequence: Level I then Level 2 then Level 3.

The Game of Logging chainsaw training course is taught by the incomparable David Birdsall, of Northeast Woodland Training. Visit their website for detailed course descriptions.

Spring 2017

Cost per training session level: $190

  1. Level I: April 6, 2017 at 8:00 am (Thursday), raindate April 13
  2. Level I: April 13, 2017 at 8:00 am (Thursday), raindate April 20
  3. Level II: April 20, 2017 at 8:00 am (Thursday), raindate April 27

 

 

Location and directions: All 2017 GOL workshops will be held at The Waterworks Property, which is located at 4783 Plank Road in Bristol. From the traffic light in downtown Bristol, head north 0.6 miles on North Street. Turn left (west) onto Plank Road and drive 3.5 miles (You will remain on Plank Road through two intersections). The parking area for the Waterworks property is on the right just before a sharp turn to the left over Norton Brook.

How to Register: Download the registration form here. On it you’ll find detailed information about the registration process, including fees, cancellation policies, directions to course meeting sites, etc.  Please complete the registration form and mail with payment to VERMONT FAMILY FORESTS to the address indicated on the form. We will hold your payment until we reach the minimum number of students required for offering the course. If we have already reached the course’s maximum student capacity by the time you submit your registration, we will place you on a waiting list.

 

 

Hogback Community College                                                        FOREST SOILS IN THE HOGSBACK ECOREGION, 2017

Dates: April 6, 8, 15, 20, and 22, 2017 (see schedule table below)

Location: Bristol, Vermont

Cost: $160 (16-hour course)

 

Participants who complete this course can receive continuing education credit. Please indicate on your registration form if you are wanting to receive any of the credit options below:

  • Society of American Foresters CE Credits: 12 Category 1 CFE credits
  • State of Vermont ANR/DEC Licenced Designer CE Credits: 8 for soils and 4 for non-soils.

 

 

"I’m thoroughly impressed with Dr. Harper’s extensive knowledge of soil science, and her ability to share seemingly endless technical information, which also included plant species, geology and topography that all related back to soils characterization."

—participant in Forest Soils in the Hogback Ecoregion

 

We are delighted to welcome back soil scientist and educator Dr. Wendy Sue Harper for her fifth year teaching this introductory course on forest soils, which is accredited through the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (see note below). Students will attend 2 classroom presentations and 4 field trips targeting different soils on the Waterworks in Bristol. During classroom lectures, students will learn about soil properties as indicators of soil formation and land use potential (including the five soil forming factors, soil profiles and horizons, soil texture, structure, color, pH, and organic matter), and how to use NRCS soil information and maps.

During field studies, students will undertake simple experiments and learn basic field soil examination techniques while studying several different soil types (including glacial outwash deposits, clayplain soils, soils formed in acid or neutral tills, and wetlands and streambank soils).

This course is especially appropriate for landowners, natural resource professionals, educators, and planners who want to improve their understanding of soils and how they influence our landscape.

Date Time Location Activity

April 6, 2017

Thursday

7-9pm Howden Hall, Bristol Lecture 1: Basic soil properties as indicators of soil formation, the natural environment, and land use, including: the five soil forming factors; soil profiles and horizons; and soil texture, structure, color, pH, and organic matter.

April 8, 2017

Saturday

8:30am-12:30pm Waterworks Property, Bristol Field study 1: Introduction to basic field soil examination, descriptions and techniques; focusing on forest soils formed in glacial outwash deposits or neutral tills (Colton, Melrose, and Farmington)

April 15, 2017

Saturday

8:30am-12:30pm Waterworks Property Field study 2: More soil examination, focusing on soils in the clayplain forest or acid tills (Kingsbury, Covington, and Tunbridge)

April 20, 2017

Thursday

7-9pm Howden Hall Lecture 2: Time for additional question on materials covered. Tour Web Soil Survey to develop an understanding of making soil maps and maps of land use potential to understand sites and the natural environment. Mini-lectures on soil issues raised by students, e.g. soil biology, pH, CEC, etc.

April 22, 2017

Saturday

8:30am-12:30pm

 

Waterworks Property Field study 3: More soil examination, focusing on wetland soils and soils that form along streams or acid forest soils formed in kamic materials (Walpole, Elmwood, and Stetson)

April 29, 2017

Saturday

8:30am-12:30pm Waterworks Property Snow/rain date, if needed.

 

How to Register: Download the registration form here. On it you’ll find detailed information about the registration process, including fees, cancellation policies, directions to course meeting sites, etc.  Please complete the registration form and mail with check payment to VERMONT FAMILY FORESTS at the address indicated on the form. We will hold your payment until we reach the minimum number of students required for offering the course. If we have already reached the course’s maximum student capacity by the time you submit your registration, we will place you on a waiting list.

   

About the Instructor 

Wendy Sue Harper, Ph.D. has over 25 years of experience in college-level education and agricultural technical assistance. Her undergraduate and graduate degrees were in soil science. She has taught soil science, ecological agriculture, and composting using skill-building approaches at Green Mountain College, the University of Vermont, and Dartmouth College. Wendy Sue teaches Agricultural Biodiversity at Green Mountain College and soils and composting to the Master Gardeners and Master Composters and has worked for UVM-Extension, Northeast-SARE, and NOFA-VT. Currently, Wendy Sue provides educational and technical services to the farming and gardening community through her business, WSH Consulting, in Monkton, VT.