Work Continues on Y Woods Forest Management Plan
On the south end of town adjacent to the Park Lawn Cemetery is a 30 acre municipal forest called the "Y Woods." The Town director of the Department of Public Works, RJ Joly, along with partners including the Bennington County Forester Cory Creagan and SW Tech Forestry teacher Eric Bishop, put out a call last March for comment and suggestions from the community on its future. Input from that meeting is helping inform the creation of a forest management plan.
Work on creating the draft forest management plan for the Y Woods is now underway. Creagan and Bishop are working with students from the Forestry program to do a “timber cruise” to provide data on the current condition of the forest. This includes using a grid of random sample points to get unbiased data on the species composition of trees, presence of invasive species, wildlife habitat, numbers of seedlings and saplings, and the amount of woody material on the ground.
In addition to telling us about the health and composition of the forest, the data will also tell us about the current structure of the forest, the dynamics of development and change, and provide insight into the impacts of past management.
Use of the Y woods for educational purposes by the Forestry program has been ongoing for some time. Having students work on a formal forest management plan is a next step in both education as well as incorporating the ideas and input of the community in a way that will ensure the health of the forest and how it is used in the future.
Once the draft plan is completed, it will be presented to the community for input and review. If you have thoughts or comments on the Y woods that you would like to share in advance, you may view all the materials about this project, watch the video of the public meeting, and provide your own comments on the town website here.