November 22, 2021

The University of Maryland Extension (UME) Woodland Stewardship Education program received the 2021 Family Forests Education (FFE) Award for outstanding comprehensive programming efforts that most benefit family forest owners over the last five years by the  National Association of University Forest Resources Programs (NAUFRP). 

The UME Woodland Stewardship Education (WSE) program, run and supported by Jonathan Kays, Agnes Kedmenecz, Luke Macaulay, Andrew Kling, Taylor Robinson, Nancy Stewart and Bob Tjaden, connects woodland property owners to their land through education and outreach. Using varied Extension delivery methods, WSE enables woodland owners to make sound and informed decisions about managing their land by bringing forestry and wildlife management information together to simplify and demystify natural resource management on private forestlands.

“While many people know about computers, gardening, cars and other everyday items, most do not know much about the stewardship of woodlands. Our program seeks to fill that void,” said Kays. “Seventy-two percent of the Maryland woodlands are privately-owned so helping people make informed decisions is essential to ensure forest health.”

The 2021 Family Forests Education Award winner was announced during the National Association of University Forest Resources Programs (NAUFRP) General assembly and is co-sponsored by the National Woodland Owners Association (NWOA). A number of Extension programs across the U.S. submitted nominations for both a comprehensive program award and an individual program award, the latter focusing on the educational response to the pandemic. “The award acknowledges many years of extension outreach and education by a committed team of professionals,” Kays said.

The WSE program includes multiple examples of UME’s innovative, needs-based, collaborative, and multidisciplinary outreach efforts. “UME’s quality programming has stood the test of time and delivered across a broad array of forestry topics, staying focused on what information Maryland’s woodland owners need to practice sustainable forest management and pursue their desired land management goals,” said Acting Maryland State Forester Anne Hairston-Strang.

For more information on the Woodland Stewardship Education program, go to https://extension.umd.edu/programs/environment-natural-resources/program-areas/woodland-stewardship-education.