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Westmoreland Conservation District conference offers experts on managing your corner of paradise

| Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013, 6:58 p.m.

The Westmoreland Woodlands Improvement Association will host a conference on “Woods, Water & Wildlife.”

It will be held 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Oct. 19 in the Westmoreland Conservation District barn at 218 Donohoe Road.

“We're bringing together people with years of hands-on experience to share their expertise about a lot of the issues that people must deal with when managing their trees, whether they have a small backyard woodlot or a large forest,” said Tony Quadro of the Westmoreland Conservation District.

The morning sessions include:

• Brian Swistock of Penn State University speaking on forests and water quality

• Former extension agent Eric Oesterling on insects, disease, and other backyard problems

• Mike DiRinaldo of the state Bureau of Forestry on tackling invasive plants in larger woodlots

• Tammy Colt of the Pennsylvania Game Commission on attracting wildlife and birds and thwarting undesirables

• Kristen Giger of the National Turkey Federation on providing young forest habitat for the golden-winged warbler and other upland birds.

After a catered lunch, Russ Gibbs of the Bureau of Forestry will discuss forest planning to get the most from your woods. Starting at 1:30, participants will a choice of field trips, both hosted by experts from the conservation district.

Quadro will revisit the Hannastown timber harvest five years after an initial tour and Kathy Hamilton will give a tour of stormwater management around Donohoe Center.

The registration deadline is Monday. Workshops and materials, the optional field trip, breakfast catered lunch are included in the $20 fee.

For more information and a registration form, call 724-837-5271 or visit www.westmorelandwoodlands.org.

There will be a raffle for an heirloom-quality, solid-walnut porch swing handcrafted by expert woodworker John Hilewick, an officer with the woodlands improvement association. All proceeds will go toward supporting association events.

Its mission is to encourage good management of woodlands for aesthetics, timber, water quality and control, wildlife habitat, plant propagation and recreation. The group holds programs and field trips throughout the year.

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