Friends of the Forest Giving Program
KNC’s sugarbush is an area of beech-maple forest along the rolling glacial topography of our Fern Valley Trail. While not old growth, this area has still been a key feature of KNC’s trails and programs for generations. This area is not far from the forests whose protection inspired KNC’s initial formation as an organization in 1960.
The nature center has provided maple sugaring programs to the public in these forests since 1965. Sadly, these forests are also very vulnerable to invasive pests, like the emerald ash borer, and climate change. Over the last decade, these forests lost hundreds of ash trees, leading to a proliferation of autumn olive and honeysuckle growth. This kind of disturbance outcompetes regeneration of native plants and threatens the forest’s resilience over time.
Acre by acre, restoration of this space is possible and promising. The team has been working to remove invasive shrubs, clear away woody debris, and make room for reforestation. Starting in 2020, KNC staff, volunteers, and Heronwood students planted over 60 trees and shrubs in this area with a goal of diversifying the forest canopy and protecting the programs of KNC’s future. Last fall, these partners planted another 100 trees, adding both species and genetic diversity. This restoration project fits with many of the goals in KNC’s broader sustainability plans, helping to maintain the health of our forests, enhance our forest’s recovery after disturbance, and boost the forest’s ability to take in carbon over time.
You can help! KNC has big plans for 2023 to continue management of the previously restored acres and expand the plantings further. We have a goal of raising $16,000 to cover all expenses for this year’s work. Support our Friends of the Forest giving program to celebrate your special event, honor a loved one, or simply invest in healthy future forests.