Backyard workshop planned at Washington County ag center

August 20, 2008

SHARPSBURG - A two-part workshop will teach local homeowners how to create beautiful, natural backyards that attract wildlife, and enhance privacy and value.

Sponsored by the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension, the Woods in Your Backyard Workshop will be Thursday, Sept. 25, and Thursday, Oct. 2, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Agricultural Education Center on Md. 65 (Sharpsburg Pike).

"The workshop will focus on simple woodland stewardship practices that will help people have more time outdoors, increase property privacy and sanctuary, increase wildlife abundance and enhance property values," said instructor and Natural Resource Extension Specialist Jonathan Kays.

The training is designed for homeowners with properties smaller than 10 acres.

The workshop will use the award-winning manual "The Woods in Your Backyard: Learning to Create and Enhance Natural Areas Around Your Home." This manual helps homeowners identify goals for their land and describes the steps to achieve them.


The training is useful for anyone interested in converting lawn to forest, creating wildlife habitat or providing a useful outdoor space for family. According to Kays, "You need no prior knowledge of forestry or natural resources to attend the workshop or use the manual to learn how to make improvements to your property."

Annette Ipsan, Extension educator for horticulture in Washington County, will explain the importance of wildlife habitats and ways to create them in any backyard.

The cost for the workshop (both sessions) is $20 for individuals or $25 per couple, which includes a copy of the publication and a resource CD. Registration is required. To register, contact the Extension office at 301-791-1504.

To learn more, contact Kays at 301-432-2767, ext. 323, ( or Ipsan at 301-791-1604 or

Those unable to attend the workshop may view details on the manual or order a copy by visiting To find out about other forestry stewardship related publications, go to

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