Working Woods

The Sherwin Institute of Woodland Management

The Sherwin Institute of Woodland Management provides educational opportunities for landowners of small wooded properties and rural woodlots to increase their knowledge of how to properly care for, manage and utilize their land and trees for environmental, ecological, social and economic benefits. The Sherwin Institute functions as a project housed out of Working Woods at the Holden Arboretum, and was created by a generous gift of the Sherwick Foundation.

Working Woods

What is Working Woods?

Working Woods is a living laboratory and demonstration site for what good forest-care looks like for landowners and resource professionals in Northeast Ohio.

The project is endorsed by the state and area consulting foresters, who also have had a large role in the project.

Where is Working Woods?

Working Woods (WW) is ~67 acres where the old sugarbush was at the Arboretum campus.

Map of Working Woods
Click to enlarge

Why “Work the Woods”?

Most of Ohio’s forest is privately owned. Private landowners face a variety of challenges when it comes to land stewardship including succession planning, pests, disease, poor logging practices, pressure from logging companies, and invasive plants.

Good forestry addresses these challenges by working with nature so both people AND the woods can thrive.  Learn more about the forestry treatments being used in the Working Woods. 

Working Woods seeks to demonstrate good forestry practices and equip/empower people to implement good practices on their own land. Working Woods is a resource landowners, natural resource professionals, ODNR, soil and water conservation and park districts, consulting foresters and more.

At the same time, Working Woods is also a site for research, as Holden Forests & Gardens scientists and their collaborators explore the best practices for helping woodland property evolve from young forested land into older, healthy forests as well as the impact climate change will have on our forests. Learn more.

Forester Testimonials

“There is a lot of bad practice taking place in Northeast Ohio right now. Extreme over harvesting, poor BMP implementation, horrible aesthetics etc. I believe that the Working Woods project is essential to begin the narrative change in this region. It is vitally important and while challenging I am excited to be a part of such a project.” -Adam Beichler, the Wilderness Center Consulting Forester

When Was Working Woods Created? 

Six acres of the Improvement Cut were felled or girdled on Dec. 22 and 23, 2018. The rest is to be done in 2019. Single-tree Selection Cut will be done in the right weather conditions (frozen or dry soil) in 2019.

Visitors may see:

    • Marked trees prior to and after the cuts
    • Cut tops left on the ground, which may look ‘messy’ but serve as a nutrient source and animal habitat
    • Trail closures to ensure visitor safety
    • New trails or roads created to remove logs, which may be restored afterwards

Access, Programs, Resources

Other questions can be directed to Courtney Blashka, Community Forester at cblashka@holdenfg.org or Jessica Miller, Community Forestry Research Specialist, at jmiller@holdenfg.org