When the idea of forestry demonstration areas was initially conceived in 1997, the objective was to provide working demonstrations of practical and effective forest management and stewardship practices that are compatible with water quality protection. Since then, the model forest concept has expanded to ensure that demonstrations and outreach activities are based on sound science. As a result, each model forest has progressed in a deliberate manner to meet multiple objectives regarding research, demonstration, outreach and continuing education.
The Lennox Memorial Forest was the first site to be developed in 1998. The 85-acre section of the property was delineated into several compartments designed to demonstrate various types of forest management – good and bad.
Planning for the nearly 300-acre Frost Valley Model forest began with the delineation of the experimental compartments and the survey work to locate the two-mile long forest road. Today, the road is complete, three compartments have been treated with silvicultural prescriptions with the intent of studying the effects of harvesting on water quality, and educational signs are distributed over half the distance of the forest road.
In the winter of 1999, the Lennox was harvested using different cutting prescriptions in each compartment.
The first model forest, the Lennox, was up and running, providing outreach and continuing education opportunities.
Comprehensive forest inventories of all the model forest sites were completed.
Outreach and continuing education activities began at the Frost Valley Model Forest
The most recent addition to the model forest project, the Siuslaw Model Forest, was officially opened. Since then, the Siuslaw has been developed to include several exhibits relating to agroforestry as well as sustainable forest management. The 142 acre model forest is part of the Agroforestry Resource Center.
A handicap accessible trail was completed at the Siuslaw Model Forest. Preliminary efforts to establish a model forest in the Croton Watershed had begun.
The 264 acre Clearpool Model Forest was established in the Croton watershed region. Located within the grounds of Green Chimney’s Clearpool Education Center, this forest will provide a much needed demonstration forest for audiences in the lower Hudson valley.