Forest Society Land Stewards – Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities
Since its early beginnings in 1993, the Forest Society Land Steward Program has been the volunteer backbone of our forest reservations. Each spring the Forest Society aims to recruit and train 25 new volunteers to join the program. This year in mid-April the Reservation Stewardship and Outreach and Education staff once again collaborated to host the annual Land Steward Training. Over the course of two 8-hour days, volunteer land stewards receive the training needed to assist in monitoring and caring for our 185 forest reservations.
For other volunteers it’s about peace of mind. “I’m not the slightest bit handy, but I do LOVE to walk in the woods as it always makes me happy” recounts Wenny-Baker Land Steward Cynthia Van Hazinga.
As 5th grade teacher and Foster Conservancy Land Steward puts it, “I find the forest to be a very healing place where I can de-stress from being with 10 year olds 5 days a week”. The Land Steward Program not only enhances the forest for public recreation, wildlife habitat, and drinking-water quality, it also provides indirect health benefits for those who do the conservation work onsite.