Virginia forest landowners looking to gain an understanding of how to keep their woods healthy and productive can do so in the comfort of their own home. 

Virginia Cooperative Extension and the Virginia Forest Landowner Education Program in Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment are offering an online course to help private landowners become better stewards of their land.

The 12-week Online Woodland Options for Landowners course, which runs from May 2 to July 22, teaches basic management principles and techniques for both novice and veteran private forest landowners. 

Materials provided include four reference books and a tree identification CD in addition to online reading materials and assignments. Natural resource professionals and experienced landowners serve as mentors for the students and help with questions via the course Group Discussion Board.

“Interest in this course, now in its 13th year, continues to grow,” said Jennifer Gagnon, coordinator of the Virginia Forest Landowner Education Program. “Participants love the convenience of an online course and appreciate the opportunity to connect with experts as well as experienced landowners.”

Participants may attend an optional field trip at the conclusion of the course, which allows them to hone their new skills and interact with one another and with natural resource professionals. Those participants who complete all of the optional advanced assignments can finish the course with a draft forest management plan.

The registration fee is $45 per family. Participants must have access to a computer with a Web browser and an email account; access to a printer is strongly recommended.

The College of Natural Resources and Environment at Virginia Tech, which consistently ranks among the top three programs of its kind in the nation, advances the science of sustainability. Programs prepare the future generation of leaders to address the complex natural resources issues facing the planet. World-class faculty lead transformational research that complements the student learning experience and impacts citizens and communities across the globe on sustainability issues, especially as they pertain to water, climate, fisheries, wildlife, forestry, sustainable biomaterials, ecosystems, and geography. As a land-grant university, Virginia Tech serves the Commonwealth of Virginia in teaching, research, and Virginia Cooperative Extension.

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