University of Vermont

The Green Forestry Education Initiative

The University of Vermont’s Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources is revolutionizing its forestry program through the creation of The GREEN FORESTRY Education Initiative.

We are defining and demonstrating a new niche for forestry and forest conservation education that emphasizes the integration of sustainable design, land ethics, and real-world learning. Our approach to forest conservation is guided by Aldo Leopold who stated that “Health is the capacity of the land for self-renewal. Conservation is our effort to understand and preserve this capacity.”

Understanding and preserving the capacity of the land for self-renewal is at the heart of our approach to forest conservation education. Our approach is built upon a solid foundation of sustainable forestry principles outlined in The Montreal Process and increasingly recognized throughout the temperate world. We seek to develop a better understanding of our relationship to forests by asking “why” and “for whom” they are conserved. Our approach to forest conservation education emphasizes the importance of real world experiences for students and recognizes that the success of forest conservation of any kind ultimately depends upon functional and viable links with local communities, businesses, and public and private organizations.

The Green Forestry Education Initiative exists in three concentric circles: on campus; at the Forest Conservation Center at the UVM Forest at Jericho; and in the community. The UVM Forest at Jericho is currently the primary focus of activities and is an ideal location for the project. The Jericho Forest is located just 20 minutes from the UVM campus, and students, landowners, and organizational representatives have excellent access to the forest there. The forest had a long and well documented history of use and – in some instances – exploitation followed by a remarkable ecological recovery. In 1790 the land was blanketed by a primeval forest. By 1937 the land consisted of high-graded forest and eroded farm fields with sand blows and gullies. Today there are healthy, beautiful, productive, biologically diverse forests growing there.

The Green Forestry Education Initiative is being constructed to be simultaneously well-defined and cohesive enough to have immediate and substantial impact, and yet flexible and energetic enough to respond to very rapidly emerging needs. We emphasize: 1) undergraduate education and the interaction of undergraduates with the surrounding community via outreach and service-learning activities; 2) research, demonstration and dissemination; and 3) partnerships with educational, community, and governmental and non-governmental organizations.


Last modified April 18 2007 11:41 PM

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