Westmoreland Woodlands Improvement Association

2019 Events 

March 16, 2019-- Franklin Regional Sr. High School in Murrysville, PA, 8:30 am to 12:30 pm
 "Making the Most of Your Piece of Nature: A Sustainable Backyard Workshop"
This exciting workshop will be hosted by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resource's Bureau of Forestry (DCNR) 
The purpose of this event is to educate homeowners and empower them to manage their property in a way that will ensure a healthy and functional ecosystem amidst development into the future.
The event is FREE and open to the public.
Registration-- 8:30 a.m.; workshop will conclude at 12:30 pm
Questions?  Please contact Celine Colbert, DCNR Bureau of Forestry at (724) 238-1200 or cecolbert@pa.gov  WWIA will be present as an exhibitor at this event!

March 21 – Watershed Expert to Discuss Riparian Buffers

6:30 p.m. in the J. Roy Houston Conservation Center  featuring Alysha Trexler, watershed project manager with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.
Light refreshments will be served at a social half-hour starting at 6:00 p.m.  Free to WWIA members and students with a current student ID; it costs $5 for all others. Please call Sandy at WCD (724-837-5271) by Monday, March 18, to register.

Trexler will speak on riparian buffers.
When we focus only on landowners who own streamside areas, we miss educating and gaining the support of the people who do not live along a stream. She will also offer talking points on how to communicate the benefits of riparian buffers to community planners.

"If they don't know about riparian areas, planners can't make good decisions about them or support the community members who do protect them," Alysha explains.

iparian restoration projects can be designed to meet the needs of all landowners, regardless of the size of their property size or the stream width. This session will provide guidance on how to talk to non-agricultural and small-tract landowners about riparian restoration.

Pennsylvania has more than 86,000 miles of streams and rivers. Streamside buffers improve water quality by filtering pollutants and sediments from roads, lawns, and farm fields. They can also increase wildlife habitat.

Alysha holds a BS in biology with a minor in chemistry. She has more than 15 years of experience with water quality and biological monitoring; physical stream habitat assessment; abandoned-mine drainage remediation, agriculture best management practices and nutrient management; riparian habitat improvement design and installation, public education and outreach; and project management and implementation. She owns a farm where she raises grass-fed beef with her family. The farm is an ongoing example of how community that conservation practices can be worked into any farming operation.


WWIA's 30th anniversary gala, Thursday, April 18

Celebrate Westmoreland Woodlands Improvement Association and socialize with woodland owners over a delicious dinner--and hear Jim Finley speak!--Thursday, April 18, in the J. Roy Houston Conservation Center (the Westmoreland Conservation District Barn, behind the Donohoe Center) at 218 Donohoe Rd., Greensburg.

Social half hour at 5:30 p.m. followed by a potluck dinner at 6:00 pm.
Dinner is free, though we'd appreciate it if you'd reserve your spot to help us know how much food to order. You can call Sandy at WCD (724-837-5271) by April 5 to make your reservation. And we always welcome side dishes and desserts that friends of WWIA bring to share.

After dinner we'll celebrate WWIA's history and honor its founders, its early leaders, and several people who have made significant contributions to the group and its mission over the past three decades. We anticipate renewing old friendships and reintroducing folks who have woodland interests in common.

A highlight of the evening will be a talk by Dr. James Finley on weaving the tapestry of conservation.
As most WWIA members and friends know, Jim is Professor Emeritus of the Center for Private Forests at Penn State. He has been instrumental in organizing the PA Forest Stewards program and keeping it going.

Jim explains, "We weave the tapestry by how our land, values, and legacy fit together with other people's in caring for their land. We need to expand the conversation about conservation to encourage more people to consider their longer-term relationship with the land and the communities it supports."

Jim will also share his memories of giving a talk for WWIA in the early days and helping the organization find its feet.

If you've been involved in WWIA activities in the past, we would love to hear your memories of some of your favorite WWIA experiences.
Email them to WWIA president John Hilewick at jandd.hilewick@gmail.com. Or you can call John at 724-925-1667. Every memory you share will contribute to weaving the history of WWIA.

The event is free to WWIA members and everyone who joins or renews at the gala. It costs $5 for nonmembers. 

May 16 – Forester Mike DiRinaldo of DCNR and Tony Quadro of WCD will co-lead a walk & talk through portions of the Ann Rudd Saxman Nature Park next to the Westmoreland Conservation District campus.  Tony will discuss the treatments for rehabilitation in the park including invasives treatment, fencing ,etc.  Mike will give a more detailed invasives talk (and maybe touch on deer) regarding forest regeneration.  Part will be inside the Barn & part will be in the ARSNP. Start time TBD.

June 8 – 9:00 a.m. to about 2:30 p.m. Jessica Salter and David Planinsek, DCNR foresters working out of the Laughlintown office of the PA Bureau of Forestry, will lead our ninth annual Forbes State Forest field trip and skills day. Topic TBD

June 29 – Leslie Horner; Forest Stewardship Program associate at the Center for Private Forest at Penn State will lead a workshop and field day focusing on woodland health and regeneration assessment at WWIA vice president Fred Lau’s woodlot . Time TBD.

September 19 – 6:30 p.m. An expert from the Penn State extension, Ms. Sandy Feather, will present a program on the Spotted Lantern Fly and its spread.

October 17 – 6:00 p.m. The annual WWIA potluck dinner and business meeting will be followed by a presentation on forest regeneration. 

Help Celebrate WWIA's Thirtieth Birthday in 2019! Join us for an upcoming event!