Every year, the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources recognizes landowners who demonstrate outstanding stewardship of their woodlots through the Woodland Owner of the Year Award, and this year the western region award was given to West Caledonia resident Georgie and Helen Uhlman
Three awards are given in West, Central and Eastern Regions, and one of these winners is selected as the provincial winner.
The culmination of the award is a two-day event at the award winners’ woodlands in each region. The “Kids in the Forest” day is devoted to getting local school children out in the woods to learn about and enjoy this precious resource. Day two is the Woodland Owner of the Year field event where visitors to the winner’s woodlot can walk the trails and visit the many “stations” along the way to learn about management practices, forest resources, wildlife, and recreational access.
Georgie and Helen are well known in and around Caledonia for their welcoming attitude to members of the community and visitors alike to their beautiful Forest Stewardship Council certified woodlot. Friends and families keep trailers as a quiet spot by the brook that runs through the woodland, hikers and horseback riders travel the many trails, and visits from groups such as the local nursing home residents, nursery school, and 4-H club are not uncommon. Georgie’s modest camp has hosted training courses, prom parties, Thanksgiving meals, New Year’s get-togethers, family reunions, a funeral service, an IWK fundraising dinner, and annual Easter egg hunts for local children.
Georgie and Helen were delighted and very proud to be awarded the Western Region Woodland Owner of the Year, and were over the moon when they heard that he had won the provincial award.
“I was blown away when I heard!” said Georgie. “I just love being in the woods and seeing other people coming here and enjoying the place too. It’s just everyday stuff for us”.
The Woodlot Owner of the Year Award field day will be held at Georgie and Helen’s property at 66 Chute Road, West Caledonia on Oct. 5. Registration will start at 8:30 a.m. with stations open till 4 p.m. Come for the day or drop in at your leisure.
Attractions will include horse and oxen logging, selection harvest, chainsaw mill demonstrations, stations on woodland crafts, ecosystem-based management planning, woodlot certification, invasive species, woodland insects, species at risk and wildlife habitat, and safety equipment.
If you need some peace, take a short walk on Foster’s trail by the brook. If you get tired of walking, a shuttle bus will ferry you back to your car, or better still, catch a wagon ride! A hot meal will be served in the woods for $10 (be sure to register early to get a meal!), with local woodland related businesses on show while you wait for the queue to go down. Remember: this is an outdoor event - please dress for the weather.