Contact: Tom Gillespie

ASHEBORO, N.C. - The North Carolina Zoo will host a "Discovering Your Land" workshop May 15 & 16 at the park, part of the Woodland Steward Series.

The workshop, one of four being held in the Piedmont region in April and May, is designed to share with landowners the knowledge and resources necessary to enrich their experience as a woodland owner and manager. The workshops are held Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m.-noon.

Each workshop includes sessions led by natural-resource and land-management specialists, including both hands-on activities in the field and instruction in the classroom. "Discovering Your Land: Basic Land Management Skills" introduces participants to setting goals and objectives, understanding local wildlife, and basic skills such as map and compass use, GIS and GPS information, tree identification and soil sampling.

Another workshop in the series, "Woodscaping Your Woodlands & Firewise Management," gives an overview of managing forest land, insects and diseases; secondary forest products; and protecting your home and property by becoming "firewise" in your backyard.

A third workshop, "Native Landscaping & Water Management," focuses on designing with native plants, urban forestry techniques, basic information on invasive plants, solving storm-water problems with plants and piedmont grassland restoration.

The last of the four workshops, "Stewardship, Recreation & Liability," covers the basics of planning trails on your property, land ownership liability, recreational income opportunities, conservation easements, finalizing goals, and applying new knowledge and skills in the field.

Carl Alwin Schenck founded the Biltmore Forest School, near Asheville, in 1898 to assist in managing the vast nearby holdings of George Vanderbilt. The school was officially re-opened in 2003 with the creation of the Woodland Steward Series.

This year marks the seventh year of the series in western North Carolina and the historic expansion of the workshops to the Piedmont and coastal regions of the state.

Other workshop locations include the Davidson County Agricultural Center in Lexington (April 17 & 18), Jordan Lake Educational State Forest in Chapel Hill (May 1 & 2) and Montgomery Community College in Troy (May 29 & 30).

The course is sponsored by the Cradle of Forestry Interpretive Association, the N.C. Division of Forest Resources, the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service, the USDA Forest Service, the N.C. Zoo, N.C. Woodlands, Montgomery Community College, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, the Land Trust for Central N.C. and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

For more information and registration materials for the course, visit or contact Amy Garascia, Program Coordinator, at or 828-884-5713 ext. 26. Registration deadlines are quickly approaching.

The zoo is an agency of the N.C. Department of Environment & Natural Resources, Dee Freeman, Secretary; Beverly Eaves Perdue, Governor.