Connecticut Forest & Park Association has partnered with UConn over the last few years to coordinate the Coverts Project - -an educational program developed by UConn Cooperative Extension. Since 1983, The Coverts Project has been reaching out to Connecticut's individual woodland owners and teaching them how sound management practices can make wildlife healthier, more diverse, and more abundant.
Education Through Demonstration
The Coverts Project began simultaneously in Vermont and Connecticut in 1983. Since that time it has spread to 11 other states across the northeastern U.S. The goals of the program are to teach forest owners how good forest stewardship can earn the woodland owner a long-term financial return, and improve the health and productivity of both the forest and the wildlife that live in it.
Actively managed demonstration areas are used as outdoor classrooms during our annual, in-depth Coverts Project training seminar and follow-up workshops. Each year, a select group of 30 woodland owners and/or environmentally concerned individuals are accepted to participate in the three-day training seminar, held at the beautiful and remote Yale Forestry Camp in Norfolk, CT. There they learn about different types of Connecticut forests and about where, how, and why they grow as they do. They learn about different wildlife species, their needs, and how to provide for them. They learn about the many natural resource professionals and organizations available to help them. And they learn how to put this knowledge to work on their own woodland.
The seminar (meals, lodging, training, and reference materials), periodic follow-up workshops, and the quarterly Coverts Project Newsletter are provided at a small cost to participants, as CFPA and UConn work to fund this program through grants and donations.
In exchange, participants agree to become Coverts Project Cooperators, to return to their communities and share what they've learned with others. Specifically, cooperators agree to:
- Develop a sound forest and wildlife management plan for their own woodland and/or woodland which they are involved in managing;
- Maintain for at least one year an up-to-date set of reference materials (provided by the Coverts Project) and be available to answer questions other landowners have;
- Make an active effort to reach out to and motivate other woodland owners in their community.
- Through this network of informed individuals, thousands of landowners are learning about and beginning to practice sound forest and wildlife conservation.
Each year, woodland owners and others involved with the care of wooded properties are invited to apply for one of the 30 slots available in the annual September seminar. We look for people who are, or who have the potential to be, informal educators in their communities: people who others will come to when they have questions about forests or wildlife; people who can find time in their busy schedules for the seminar and some volunteer activities during the coming year; people who want to get to know and to work with natural resource professionals from around the state; people who would like their own woodland to be healthy and productive; people who care about Connecticut's forests and the wildlife that live in them.
Coverts Project Seminar 2018
*The 2018 Coverts Project Seminar is held from 6:30 pm on Thursday, September 13 to 3 pm on Sunday, September 16. The Seminar will take place at Great Mountain Forest in Falls Village, CT. If you are interested in participating in the 2018 Coverts Project, please apply here.