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Forestry Management

The Bethesda Chevy Chase Conservation Farm presently consists of 624 acres of property containing 491 acres of woodlands. The management goal and objective for our woodlands is to maintain a balance between use and conservation. Working to create an environment where trees and other plants can coexist with wild animals in a balance, allows our forest to regenerate its habitat and provide for a large diversity of life. Our membership is encouraged to hike the more than 26 miles of forest trails within our woodlands.

With professional assistance, we have developed forest management and stewardship plans for our entire woodlands, which detail the tree species, their density, and age. Experts, including those from the Maryland Native Plant Society and the Maryland Ornithological Society, are routinely invited to visit our property and guide us to a more comprehensive understanding of our flora and fauna.

The Chapter’s Forestry Committee works closely with the Chapter’s Wildlife, Trails, and Farm Committees to coordinate the management of our woodlands.

Some of our projects, such as reforesting marginal agricultural fields, require more than 100 members to plant seedlings, while other projects involve small groups to paint boundary lines or clear fallen trees from our trails. Our woodlands provide an outdoor classroom for you and your family to experience and understand the complex interactions of our natural resources.

Since 2009, B-CC IWLA members have planted over 2,500 native hardwood trees in old, depleted agricultural fields and restored miles of hiking trails throughout the Chapter’s Conservation Farm. 

We encourage you to learn the trails of our woodlands and then begin to learn some of the names of its trees, birds, flowers, mammals, and reptiles. Learning to recognize the difference between a turkey scratching and a buck scrape will greatly increase the enjoyment of your outing. Knowing the difference between native and invasive plant life can lead to a healthier forest and field environment and better habitat for wildlife.

The woodlands of our farm are for our members to enjoy. A walk through the woods alone or with family and friends will create an immediate positive effect. The pace of life will slow and a sense of general well being will prevail. No one really knows why we feel better in the woods. Some say its more oxygen from the trees while others suggest we become closer to the reality of our underlying existence. The only answer agreed to by all who experience the woodlands is that everyone is affected in a most positive fashion.

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