FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 29, 2023

Connecticut Forest and Park Association (CFPA) Wins National Award for Master Woodland Manager Program


ROCKFALL, CONNECTICUT— Connecticut Forest and Park Association and partner organizations were awarded the Family Forests Education Award for their Master Woodland Manager Program (MWM). This award was granted to an “outstanding individual educational program to improve management of family-owned forests”.

The award was presented to Beth Bernard, CFPA’s Educational Director, and program partner Thomas Worthley, Assistant Extension Professor of Forestry at UConn Extension in October 2023 by the National Woodland Owners Association (NWOA) and the National Association of University Forest Resources Programs (NAUFRP). Bernard states,

The Connecticut Master Woodland Manager Program (MWM) was developed by CFPA and is supported by program partners including UConn Cooperative Extension, CT DEEP, Yale University, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, Audubon Connecticut and the CT Land Conservation Council. Now, in its third year, this year-long program provides woodland owners and managers with the knowledge and skills that they need to make decisions for their woodland that enhance their lives and sustain forests for the future. The program provides a flexible interactive experience with both virtual and field learning opportunities. Adult students learn from CT’s top forestry and wildlife professionals and join a community of woodland supporters.

“MWM participants are engaged and motivated to care for Connecticut’s forests, for now and for the future. They are a wonderful group to learn and interact with!” says Bernard.

In 2022, 34 MWM program participants learned to sustainably manage 7,875 forested acres in Connecticut. Participants completed 90 hours of field learning and 35 hours of virtual learning. These participants came from 30 municipalities and worked with 35 experts and 11 partner organizations. Bernard states, “CFPA is grateful to our program partners and the United States Forest Service for helping to make this program a reality.” Currently, there are 51 participants in the year-long program.

NWOA is “Headquartered in Washington DC with 42 affiliated state landowner associations, [they] are the largest family woodland owner association in America, representing 11 million family woodland owners who own and manage half of all forested landscapes in America. NAUFRP represents 80 of our nation’s most prestigious universities and their respective scientists, educators and extension specialists.