Contact us  or  724-972-2946  or  724-925-1667

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Westmoreland Woodlands Improvement Association 2023 Calendar of Events 

 WWIA to Host Experts from Penn State’s Center for Private Forests 
Thursday, September 21, 7:00 P.M., social period begins at 6:15 P.M.
If you're a PA Forest Steward or you’ve ever turned to the James C. Finley
Center for Private Forests at Penn State for advice about trees, you won’t want to
miss Westmoreland Woodlands Improvement Association's meeting at the Donohoe Center,

Room 100, 214 Donohoe Rd., Greensburg, PA 15601. Please note the new location.

Meet in the building in front of the J. Roy Houston Conservation Center Barn. Experts from

the Finley Center will be in town to share results of the 2021 Forest Landowners Survey:

Giving Voice to the People Who Own Pennsylvania’s Forests.

The event is free to WWIA members and costs $5 for nonmembers.  Please register in advance by calling
(724-837-5271, option #2) by 4:00 p.m. on Monday, September 18. Leave the name(s) and the number of people attending. 
We'll start with the social period at 6:15 p.m. The talk will begin at 7:00 p.m.

The center reached out to 6,600 PA woodland owners with the 2021 Forest Landowners Survey. This was the first survey in 10 years to gather information on the values, goals, and activities of private landowners. Center staff will discuss with us what the survey responses reveal. One conclusion is that more work must be done to build strong landowner-forest
steward relationships.

Join us to learn about how forest stewards are improving our communities and how we can all be more effective stewards. If you aren’t yet a forest steward but are interested in taking the 40 hours of training, the speakers will tell you how to
apply for next fall.

All attendees will receive a free ticket for a door prize. A handcrafted, edge-grain butcher-block dual-sided cutting and carving board, valued at about $150, will be raffled off as a fundraiser. WWIA’s president, expert woodworker John Hilewick, made the cutting board. 
WWIA’s mission is to encourage good management of woodlands for
aesthetics, timber, water quality and control, wildlife habitat, plant propagation,
and recreation. The group holds regular programs and field trips throughout the
year. For more information, check out WWIA's website,

October 1. Sunday. Annual Walk in Penn’s Woods.

 2023 "Walk in Penn's Woods" event at a Westmoreland Landtrust property - "The St Xavier Nature Preserve" - located at 106 St. Xavier Road  Latrobe, PA.  It is along the U.S. Route 30 and St Xavier Road just west of the Arnold Palmer Regional Airport.  The walk will commence at 1:00 p.m. on the Preserve Grounds at the Grove and participants can walk the grove and grounds as well as some walking paths of the 248 acre property conveyed to the Westmoreland Land Trust (WLT) by the Sisters of Mercy, to be conserved as a nature preserve open to the public. The Walk will be about 1 hour in duration and is generally a gentle walk through the grove and surrounding areas. Parking is available on a mowed and marked portion of the grounds of "Bellbrook" a restored brick guest House as the last remaining remnant of the St  Xavier Academy and Convent complex of the Sisters of Mercy.

October 19. 6:00 p.m. Annual Business Meeting &  dinner. Social period & registration begins at 5:30.
A Thursday evening at the WCD Barn. Potluck dinner and annual business
meeting. The business meeting, including elections for officers and voting
directors, will run from about 7:00-7:15. Then Sara Fern Fitzsimmons, chief
conservation officer at The American Chestnut Foundation, will discuss “Restoring
the American Chestnut for Robust Forests in the Eastern US: Considerations and
Challenges for the Next 200 Years.”

Tentative Program for 2024
A talk by Melissa Kreye, Ph.D. of Penn State about “Social & Economic Values
Associated with Private Forests, including Wildlife, Carbon Sequestration & Water

Past 2023 Events:
Saturday May 6, in the early afternoon at an outdoor site on the Forbes State Forest in the Powdermill area. A program and field exercise/study to be presented by Dr. Sara Nilson and Dr. Eric Burkhart of the Penn State University system. Exact start time is YTBT.  Topic will be wild Ramps (leeks). We will visit a population of wild Ramps to be educated about them and come to understand that without proper management these populations can become threatened by over eager foragers and other gatherers.

Specimens will be collected by Dr.’s Nilson & Burkhart for research purposes.

Saturday, July 8, in the morning & early afternoon, a 9:00 a.m. gathering time at the Forbes District

BOF Office Building in Laughlintown, US Rt. 30 east has been set. Bring your lunch and your beverage.  This will be another Annual Forbes State Forest Field Trip/Tour & Skills Day Event. DCNR - BOF Service Forester, Michael Doucette will be our speaker/facilitator for this event and as he says; “We will start in the Bob Ache Memorial Forest behind the office. Last year we covered some basic mensuration. This year Mike would like to compound that and run some plots. This shows what foresters do when conducting management. Then, we will head onto the Laurel Mountain Tract of the Forbes and look at some older cuts off Hickory Flats Road, this will give an opportunity to see what a cut will do to the future forest. Additionally in that location we will be able to see part of an active timber sale. “

Saturday, August 5, 2023 - -A field day event. The start time will be 9:00 a.m., the total program length is YTBD. WWIA member Bob Phillips has agreed to host this event at his Fairfield Township property of woodland and the water resources of Snyder Run, and 2 fairly large bodies of water described as ponds or lakes. A water resources speaker/facilitator (Greg Schaetzle) from the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy will present programing about the stream and the aquatic organisms in the stream that runs through the property. A Bucknell University graduate (Alex Busato) with a B.S. in Biology-Aquatic Biology/Limnology, with a minor in Geology/Earth Science will present programming about the lakes and possibly some added programming about birds as the president of the Westmoreland Bird & Nature Club. A forester will present programming about Bob’s plan for his forested land area.

More information about the days total activities will be forthcoming in the future. Members in-good-standing for

2023 & 2022 have previously been sent a special email regarding this event.  If you are not in-good-standing

dues wise and you desire to attend this event then you will need to call John Hilewick at 724-925-1667 for

further information and an RSVP by 3:30 pm on July 26th.

August 18 - 26--An established initiative to do a Pennsylvania Forest Stewardship Volunteers – outreach program at the Westmoreland County Fair, for the 9 days of the fair.  WWIA members who are also PaFS Volunteers will man a display booth/table at the fair for some portion of each day of the fair.


Tentative Programming/Event for 2024

A proposed indoor program presentation about the topic, “Social & Economic Values Associated with Private Forests, including Wildlife, Carbon Sequestration & Water Resources”  We will strive to have Melissa Kreye, Ph.D. of Penn State as our speaker.  The possibility of and a date for said program is YTBD.