The Woods in Your Backyard Partnership team, March 2022

The Woods In Your Backyard Partnership team, March 2022. Front row: Julianne Schieffer, Penn State Extension; Agnes Kedmenecz, University of Maryland Extension. Back row: Dave Jackson, Penn State Extension; Andrew A. Kling & Jonathan Kays, University of Maryland Extension; Adam Downing, Virginia Tech Cooperative Extension; Craig Highfield, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay. Not pictured: Joe Lehnen, Virginia Department of Forestry

Updated: July 21, 2022
By Andrew Kling

With the change of seasons this year comes a pair of changes to the University of Maryland Extension’s Woodland Stewardship Education program. Jonathan Kays, the program’s Forestry Specialist and leader, is now retired, and the program’s Forest Stewardship Educator, Agnes Kedmenecz, is moving on to a new job in her native Canada (see her farewell below).

These departures mean that the program has a pair of vacancies, and metaphorically speaking, large shoes to fill. The university is currently advertising for a successor in Jonathan’s position, but there is no timetable for an individual to come on board.

In the meantime, I will do my best to keep everyone informed about what’s happening in Maryland’s woodlands.

-Andrew Kling,


Hello All,

Happy Spring! As you some of you may know, I have some news...

I’m leaving my post as the Woodland Stewardship educator. Yup, I'll be starting my new job this month in British Columbia, Canada. I will be a Training and Education coordinator for British Columbia's Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resources Operations and Rural Development.

So, it is with a heavy heart that I say “Good Bye!” It's a sad and exciting time. I love my job here. Serving landowners and forestry professionals has been a privilege and a joy.

It is your care, love of knowledge and your spirit of good stewardship I will miss the most!

It has been a joy to work directly with many of you. From Earth day celebrations, to measuring trees, to the many webinars, walks in the woods, to visiting your woodland to talk great stewardship and inviting others to into your woods to teach them, we have done a lot in the past 4 years.

Without your support, and collaboration, my time here would not have been the same! Thank you all for being so great!

“And into the forest I go to lose my mind and find my soul.” - John Muir

Take care,

Branching Out, Vol. 30, no. 2 (Spring 2022)

Branching Out is the free, quarterly newsletter of the Woodland Stewardship Education program. For more than 25 years, Branching Out has kept Maryland woodland owners and managers informed about ways to develop and enhance their natural areas, how to identify and control invasive plants and insects, and about news and regional online and in-person events.