The Woods in Your Backyard online course

The Woods in Your Backyard online course

The Woods in Your Backyard online course

Mon Apr 08 2024 at 09:00 am to Mon Jun 17 2024 at 11:30 pm


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USD 95
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The Woods in Your Backyard online course | Online Event | About the event The Woods in Your Backyard online course
Our online course helps small-acreage property owners get the most out of their land by creating or managing existing woodlands.

About this Event
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Since participating in the course The Woods in Your Backyard I am really looking at our four acres and the responsibility of taking care of it differently. My husband and I, through discussions about what I have learned, have moved from reactive to proactive land care. Rather than having the grass mowed each week and letting nature take its course with our trees and shrubs, we have become active in removing invasive vines and weeds, transplanting native seedlings, and have a solid plan of what we would like to see happen with our property. - Christine M., Maryland

Your program deepened my knowledge of the principles of woodland and meadow stewardship, including the properties of succession and wildlife habitat....Your program with the structure of the materials and activities has been very helpful. Thank you! - Marilyn A., Maryland

This course has been perfect for me! It’s encouraged me to get back into my woods, identify native species, attack invasive species, and become better informed about ways to enhance my property. - Gary H., Maryland

On our first walk through our woods while completing one of our early activities for this course, we seemed to become one with the woods as we went about identification of plant/tree species, observing their height and canopy, as well as counting the number of downed trees and snags. I was delighted to find native species of plants, Jack in the Pulpit specifically, that I had never seen before. We purchased the property in 2019 and valued the privacy that the woods in our backyard provided. This course and the associated activities really helped us appreciate the natural resource at our disposal and inspired the desire to be stewards of this natural treasure. - Pamela S., Pennsylvania

Are you looking to become a better manager of the land you own? Do you want to learn more about your property's woodlands, such as ways to enhance wildlife habitat? The University of Maryland Extension's "The Woods in Your Backyard" online course promotes the stewardship of small parcels of land for the personal enjoyment of their owners and for the improved environmental quality for society.
This course is for you if:
  • you have 1–10 acres of land in the Eastern United States that is forested or has un-mowed natural areas, or
  • you have a mowed lawn area that you want to turn into a woodland, or
  • you are a land manager or part of a group that manages natural areas, such as a preserve or a community woodland.

One of the most effective ways you can improve water and air quality, wildlife habitat, and natural area health is by shifting areas of lawn into un-mowed natural areas or woodlands. Over a period of years, this will reduce the time you spend mowing your lawn and give you more time to enjoy your family, property, and hobbies. Our ten-week, non-credit, self-directed online course will teach you how to do this, without having to attend evening or weekend workshops. All you need is your computer, the provided publications, and the desire to become a better steward of the land.

"Great course and instructors! Well done! " - Steven S., Maryland
"Excellent class and looking forward to applying what I learned." - Gabe H., Maryland
Here's an overview of what our non-credit course covers:
  • Learn why you should manage your land. 
  • Map your land, and assess why you bought the land and what you hope to get out of it.
  • Understand how your land relates to the land around you.
  • Identify habitat units on your property. 
  • Learn basics of tree identification, forestry, and wildlife habitat management. 
  • Assess your property’s water resources, recreational possibilities, and aesthetic appeal, and ways to improve each. 
  • Choose a few land management projects to help meet your goals. 
  • Set a timetable and record progress.

There are no prerequisites for this non-credit course. With a paid enrollment, each participant receives:
  • a print copy of The Woods in Your Backyard (2nd edition)
  • a print copy of The Woods in Your Backyard Workbook

These materials include case studies of families who own woodland properties, a resource guide, and a glossary. Participants will also receive Common Native Trees of Virginia Tree Identification Guide to help them get to know the trees on their property, and a no-obligation subscription to our quarterly woodland stewardship newsletter, Branching OutThe course includes:
  • Five thematically-related modules that parallel the printed The Woods in Your Backyard guide
  • Activities that can be completed on line via downloadable Portable Document Format (PDF) files, or via the workbook
  • Quizzes that assess understanding of the topics presented
  • Interactive chat room sessions with Extension staff
  • Short videos that introduce you to fellow woodland owners and illustrate key topics and techniques. 

All course materials are accessible in your Internet browser through Instructure's "Canvas" content learning management system. Please note that Canvas is optimized for desktop displays, so viewing the course content on smaller devices or phones may less effective. See the Canvas Guide document, "Which browsers does Canvas support?"
  • The Maryland State Master Gardener Office approves "The Woods in Your Backyard" online course to meet the Master Gardener continuing education requirement.
  • The Maryland State Master Naturalist Office sanctions "The Woods in Your Backyard" to meet the Master Naturalist continuing education requirement, pending approval by their Program Facilitator.
  • Participants will be required to create a free University of Maryland "associate account" to access the online materials. Complete instructions for setup will be provided.

"Thanks again for a delightfully thought-provoking class. In revisiting my property boundaries during this class, I discovered some lovely wooded areas that I had been too preoccupied in the past to notice. I was so pleased to realize that they are mine to enjoy and care for! " - Peggy C., Maryland

Each participant who successfully completes the quizzes and the required activities will receive a certificate of completion from the University of Maryland Extension.
We invite you to go to our course preview website. Visit for an overview of the course and samples of the readings, quizzes and activities.
To register online, click on "Tickets" and follow the instructions. To register by mail, send a check for $95.00 payable to "University of Maryland" to:

WIYB Online

Attn: Pam Thomas

University of Maryland Extension

18330 Keedysville Road

Keedysville MD 21756

The University of Maryland Extension programs are open to any person and will not discriminate against anyone because of race, age, sex, color, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, religion, ancestry, national origin, marital status, genetic information, political affiliation, and gender identity or expression.

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Tickets for The Woods in Your Backyard online course can be booked here.

Ticket Information Ticket Price
The Woods in Your Backyard - Spring 2024 USD 95
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Date & Time

Mon Apr 08 2024 at 09:00 am to Mon Jun 17 2024 at 11:30 pm



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About The Host:
The Woodland Stewardship Education (WSE) program, a service of the University of Maryland Extension,helps connect woodland property owners to their land. Through a variety of Extension offerings, WSE brings together professionals from such fields as forestry, wildlife ecology, and natural resource management to enable woodland property owners to make sound and informed decisions about managing their land.
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