Outdoor Center News

2017 Forestry CedarSwamp

The Cedar Swamp - a recurring theme in the 2016 Series.

Forestry Talk Thursday, October 5

Last Updated: 27.Sep.2017

The season is winding down with our last talk of the 2017 Summer Forestry and Conservation Series. The final talk will be a panel discussion on Thursday, October 5th at 7:00pm covering topics related to working within the Northern Forest. 

See below for a full description of the entire Forestry and Conservation Series, as well as continuing Wildflower Walks. 


Forestry Series
Last summer we organized the series under the theme "A sense of place: Understanding the Black River Watershed from the bedrock to the people and everything in between". 

This summer, the 2017 Series is based around the theme of  "The changing landscape of the Northern Forest, the past the present and things to come". Vermont has gone from fully forested, to less than 20% forested, to nearly fully forested again. During this time the landscape, and those who rely on the landscape have significantly changed.  Over the course of the summer we will explore this evolution to help us better understand where we came from and where we are heading.

The series will take place monthly, 7:00pm on Thursdays. 

Thursday May 4th at 7PM: The original forests of Vermont

Charlie Cogbill (Naturalist) – Before Europeans settled the forests of Vermont things looked a little different.  Come learn what the forests looked like before Europeans arrived, and subsequent changes in species and the forest structure over time. 

Thursday June 22nd at 7PM: Natural disturbance regimes of the Northern Forests and how this relates to silviculture – with a special focus on forest tent caterpillar.

Jared Nunery (VT Orleans County Forester) – Natural disturbance, whether it is wind, ice, snow, or defoliation from forest tent caterpillar, is one of the most significant drivers of change within the Northern Forest.  These events in time have long-lasting impacts on our forests, and help shape and form the natural communities we have come to love.  Come learn more about the legacy these events leave in the forest, and their lasting impact that we see in the woods today.

Thursday July 27th at 7PM: Changing forests impact on wildlife in the northern forest

Cedric Alexander (VT Fish &Wildlife) – Moose population and the impacts on the forest, from too many moose to too few moose?  Come join Cedric Alexander for a discussion on the moose impact on forest regeneration in the 1990’s to 2000’s, current population concerns and trends, and a discussion on the ongoing mortality and recruitment study here in northern Vermont.

Thursday August 24th at 7PM: Tragic Hopefulness: Remembering George Perkins Marsh in a Time of Climate Change

John Elder (Professor Emeritus, Middlebury College): Over the last 250 years, Vermont has seen periods of intense deforestation and subsequent reforestation.  Parallel with such dramatic changes in the land, we have experienced a significant evolution in our own understanding and appreciation of the Northern Forest.  Come join John Elder for a reflection on the pertinence of pioneering Vermont conservationist George Perkins Marsh to the ecological challenges of our own day.

Thursday September 28th at 7PM September: Recreation and the northern forest

Mike DeBonis (Executive Director, Green Mountain Club): The Long Trail is the oldest long-distant hiking trail in the United States.  The trail spans 272 miles across the State of Vermont along the spine of the Green Mountains, starting on the Massachusetts border and ending here in Orleans County.  Come learn more about the evolution of the GMC and the impact of recreation within the Northern Forest over the last century.

Thursday October 5th at 7PM: Panel discussion: Stories from the working in the woods of the northern forest. 

The Northern Forest is best known for vast expanses of forest, but working and living within these forests are thousands of people.  Come join a panel of local residents of the Northern Forests to hear stories from the woods, and experiences that are just as much a part of the Northern Forest as the trees themselves. 


Wildflower Walks

Friday, May 5, 10-noon

Come explore the first wildflowers and other spring vegetation in the hardwood forest around Hosmer Point camp with ecologist Eva Dannenberg Alexander. We'll hike to several different spots around the camp and along Lost Nation Road where beautiful early wildflowers like Dutchman's Breeches, Squirrel-corn, and Red Trillium will most likely be in full bloom, and explore all the other interesting woodland flora, including shrubs, trees, and ferns, that are just waking up in early May. We will probably spot some newly arrived songbirds, too. Be prepared for some off-road exploration and scrambling up a steep hillside or two to view interesting plants.

Meet at the base of the Hosmer Point Camp driveway on Lost Nation Road at 10:00am, rain or shine.

Sunday, June 4, 10-noon

Join ecologist Eva Dannenberg Alexander to explore the newly lush late-spring woods. On this wildflower walk, we'll explore the different forest types around and behind the Craftsbury Outdoor Center's Activity Center. We're very likely to see Pink Ladyslippers in bloom, as well as a couple other species of woodland orchids, a few different cedar-swamp wildflowers, and various other fascinating forest flowers, shrubs, and ferns. We'll probably encounter several different types of singing, nesting forest birds, as well. Come prepared for poking around off-trail, including a steep hillside and potentially some wet ground.

Meet on the back porch of Craftsbury's Activity Center at 10:00am, rain or shine.