Saturday: Learn 15 Ways to Improve Your Woods and Wildlife

A March 25 workshop near Cincinnati will help you help your woods and what lives there, such as birds like this Baltimore oriole. (Photo: iStock.)

COLUMBUS, Ohio — If trees, deer, birds, butterflies, mushrooms and more are your things, check out this year’s Ohio River Valley Woodland and Wildlife Workshop. It’s on March 25 in Burlington, Kentucky, just south of Cincinnati.

The public event, which brings in experts from Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, offers 15 how-to sessions on forests and the life that lives there.

Co-organizer Kathy Smith, forestry program director in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University, said the aim is to “help you get the most out of your property.”

There will be sessions, for example, on planting trees, growing mushrooms and keeping the wildlife you normally like from eating your favorite plants.

These kinds of cavities you want

A three-session series will cover cavity-nesting birds, how to identify them and how to help them live on your land. “Cavities” include bird boxes and natural holes in trees. Birds that use them include bluebirds and chickadees.

How to help save monarchs

You also can learn:

  • How to identify trees, from ash to willow, beech to maple, buckeye to sycamore and others; how to keep your trees — and your woods overall — as healthy as they can be; and specifically how to help oaks, which have seen declines in the region.
  • How to identify invasive plants, such as tree-of-heaven and kudzu, and fight them back.
  • How to market timber while balancing wildlife needs and your forest’s sustainability.
  • How to use a web-based tool called My Land Plan to plan, map and document your stewardship work.
  • How to provide habitat for monarch butterflies and other pollinators. Monarch numbers have dropped an estimated 90 percent in the past 20 years due to habitat loss, and specifically the loss of milkweed plants. Monarchs need milkweeds for feeding and laying their eggs.

Experts from Ohio State, Purdue University, the University of Kentucky and the Kentucky Division of Forestry will teach the sessions.

Those four entities, along with Kentucky State University, are the co-sponsors of the workshop.

How to register

A complete list of the topics and speakers is available at go.osu.edu/BsD9. A mailable registration form is included at that link. Details about the event also are at go.osu.edu/BsD7, where there’s also a link to online registration. Registration is $55 and includes lunch.

The event is from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Boone County Cooperative Extension Enrichment Center, 6028 Camp Ernst Road, in Burlington.

Burlington is about 75 miles north of Lexington, Kentucky, 115 miles southeast of Indianapolis and 120 miles southwest of Columbus.

For more information about the program and registration, call 614-688-3421 in Ohio, 859-257-7597 in Kentucky and 765-494-3583 in Indiana.