Woodlands Association to hold annual meeting, potluck cookout

NEWFANE — The Windham Regional Woodlands Association will hold its annual meeting (non-members are welcome to attend) and a potluck cookout lunch, followed by a tour of historic sites in Newfane Town and Newfane Village on Saturday, Aug. 25, rain or shine, from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

This year's meeting will have a few twists. It will start at two off-site locations for field visits and then convene at Bill Guenther's woodlot, 51 Bensch Mountain Rd., for lunch, tours, and afternoon libations. Guenther is hanging up his County Forester's hat and retiring on Sept. 28, so this will be his last official hurrah with the Association as the Windham County Forester.

Bring a potluck dish for lunch, including a serving utensil, a travel mug for beverages, and a lawn chair. For the field trip, suitable footwear for forest trails with moderate hills; insect and tick repellant; and, if it suits your needs, a walking stick.

The program begins at 8:30 a.m. with a tour of old Newfane village at the top of Newfane Hill. Laura Bacon-Wallingford of the Historical Society of Windham County will provide background on “Old” Newfane, as well as how the village got where it is today. Guenther will discuss the small but very sensitive timber sale done on the parcel in 2010. Cider donuts and coffee will be served.

At 10 a.m., the scene shifts to the Windham County Court house on the Common. Larry Robinson, a multi-generational Newfane native representing the Historical Society of Windham County, will talk about how the Village ended up in the valley, as well as some fascinating insight into the ownership of the courthouse. Guenther will discuss the long-term tree care program for what may be the most photographed green in Vermont.

Registration and a business meeting presided over by Association President Marli Rabinowitz takes place at Guenther's woodlot on Bensch Mountain starting at 11:30 a.m., followed by lunch at 12:30 p.m.

At 2 p.m., Guenther will provide a tour of his 23.6-acre woodlot and discuss his 30 years of forest management. He has supplied his own firewood during that time, saving about $30,000 on fuel oil. The walking will be on moderate but uneven terrain, so wear good sturdy footwear.

The program will focus on small-woodlot firewood production, including harvesting, blocking, splitting, stacking, and drying your wood. There will also be a discussion of deer browse and how it has impacted the landscape in this part of Newfane. Pruning of hardwood tress will also be mentioned.

The program will wrap up with a general discussion about anything forestry related and Guenther's career.

There is an $8 registration fee per person to cover grilling supplies and other meeting expenses. Please inform Association clerk Cindy Levine ([email protected]) by noon on Thursday, Aug. 23, as to whether you would prefer a hamburger made from locally-produced beef, a Grand Kosher hot dog, or a veggie burger.

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