Town Forest Recreation Planning Webinar Series

The Vermont Urban and Community Forestry Program is excited to offer a 5 week webinar series on town forest recreation planning. This series was originally planned for in-person events as part of the Town Forest Recreation Planning Initiative, but we had to move to online educational opportunities. Check out the descriptions below and register today!

How to Join

Webinars are free of charge and offered through GoToWebinar. Participants must pre-register for each webinar at the links provided under each webinar. You will receive access information once you are registered. Video recordings will also be made available if you are unable to attend the live presentation. Questions? Email Gwen at

Tuesday, June 2nd, 10 a.m.

New Tools for Sustainable Forest Based Recreation

In 2018, Vermont’s Urban & Community Forestry Program worked with a consulting firm to engage 10 communities in a year-long planning process to develop action-based town forest recreation plans. This process involved robust community involvement, with a focus on equipping the community with the tools and confidence in knowing that it is addressing the needs and preferences of its residents and visitors, as well as effectively managing the forest for the resources and activities it values. As a result of this work, VT UCF developed a Town Forest Recreation Planning Toolkit to support all Vermont communities in sustainable, forest-based recreation planning in town forests. This webinar will explore the community planning process and the toolkit in depth. Be prepared to become inspired and ready to engage in town forest recreation planning! 

Presenter: Kate Forrer, Community Forestry Outreach Specialist, UVM Extension

Watch Recorded Webinar

Tuesday, June 9th, 10 a.m.

Trails and Wildlife

Hiking, mountain biking, bird watching, and horseback riding are just some of the ways we get outside to enjoy nature and relax. However, even these seemingly low-key activities can have a negative impact on wildlife by reducing their abundance, reproductive success, or even survival. A new mapping tool and guide called Trails for People and Wildlife aims to encourage people to get outside and enjoy nature while allowing wildlife to thrive. It was funded by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and produced by the NH Fish and Game Department and Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.

Intended for landowners, conservation groups, and natural resource professionals, the objective of Trails for People and Wildlife is to help facilitate the placement of thoughtfully located networks of well-maintained trails. It tries to balance having wildlife species there for all of us to enjoy for years to come while providing trail builders with the resources needed to achieve their public access goals.

Presenter: Katie Callahan, GIS Coordinator, DoIT NH Fish and Game Department

Watch Recorded Webinar

Presentation Slides

Tuesday, June 16th, 10 a.m.

Connecting Downtowns with Trails for Economic Vibrancy

Trails are not only an important part of a community’s natural assets, they can be key to creating economic vibrancy. In this interactive webinar we will discuss a multistate effort to understand the connections needed between trails and towns to support sustainable economic development efforts. We will go over research and applied programming that has been conducted of various initiatives across the country and applied in New Hampshire through the UNH Extension’s Community & Economic Development program “Downtowns & Trails.” We will also discuss how trail use is changing during COVID-19 and how that might impact local economies.

Presenter: Shannon H. Rogers, Ph.D, Nature Based Economic Development Specialist,  Associate Extension Professor, University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension

Watch Recorded Webinar

Presentation Slides

Tuesday, June 23rd, 10 a.m.

Trail Building & Maintenance

Luke O’Brien and Kathryn Wrigley, Forest Recreation Specialists with the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, will present this workshop on the fundamentals of trail building and maintenance. Topics will include trail design and layout, corridor development, drainage and erosion control, bridging, and restoration. The workshop also addresses tool use and maintenance, workplace safety, and working with volunteers.

Luke O’Brien, Forest Recreation Specialist, VT Dept. of Forests Parks and Recreation
Kathryn Wrigley, Forest Recreation Specialist, VT Dept. of Forests, Parks & Recreation

Watch Recorded Webinar

Presentation Slides

Tuesday, June 30th, 10 a.m.

Mountain Biking Trails 101

Join to learn about some of the basics about managing public trails that accommodate mountain bikes. Come with your questions and come away with a list of resources and contacts designed to support how you and your town lands plan for and manage mountain biking.


Mariah Keagy, Trail Designer/Planner, Sinuosity

Sarah Galbraith, Marshfield Town Forest Committee

Watch Recorded Webinar

Presentation Slides