|• View pictures of the 2016 winners|
Matthew, Bonnie, Catherine, and Donald Harrison of Lynn Mountain, Cumberland County, are the central and provincial winners of the 2016 woodland owner of the year award. The Harrison family lives on an outstanding 1000 acre (405 hectare) woodland near Springhill. Matthew focuses on long term viability of the woodland and understands the varied and many different values of the property. The Harrison’s lot was previously owned by Matthew’s grandparents who bought it in the 1950s. Matthew is now the current owner and has done an amazing job at maintaining the woodland through tree improvement practices, such as tree planting, selection management, developing recreational opportunities of the land, and a sugar maple and blueberry businesses. The Harrison’s are proud of the enjoyment their woodland provides to them, their friends, and other members of the community.
In the 1990s Matthew started working on growing blueberries; he now manages 120 acres of blueberries. Shortly after starting his blueberry business, he initiated a sugar maple business called the Hidden Mountain Maple Farm. The Harrison family currently manages 12000 taps and plans to add another 1500 by the end of this summer. The Hidden Mountain Maple Farm sells many products such as maple syrup, maple butter, maple cream, fudge, maple jelly and many more. Matthew has become a very passionate blueberry and maple farmer and because of this, he has been able to find value in both timber and non-timber forest products of his woodland.
Matthew and his family are also living completely off the grid; nearly all of their electrical power comes from the solar panels shown in the image below. These panels power a beautiful home that is made mostly of local wood materials. Their home is a great example of some of the wonderful things we can do with our natural resources in Nova Scotia.
To see this amazing woodland and learn more about how it is managed come to the woodland owner of the year award field day on September 24th.
Central and Provincial WOYA public Field day: September 24, 2016
1889 Lynn Road
Five Islands, NS B0M 1K0
Larry and Greta Goodwin – Western Region Winners
Larry and Greta Goodwin of Hillgrove, Digby manage their lovely 230 acre (93 hectare) woodland. Much of their knowledge of woodland management has been passed down to them from Larry’s grandparents who bought the lot in 1912. Larry and Greta are good stewards of their woodland, and have been very generous in sharing and making their land available to the public for hiking, snow shoeing and cross country skiing. In fact, the Acacia Valley Trail Extension is the result of the Goodwin’s generosity.
The Goodwin’s woodland has a good mix of species, old growth and new growing stocks, it is a great example of a healthy forest. Over the years, the Goodwin family has planted thousands of seedlings to enhance the value of their land.
Current projects on their woodland include managing hiking trails and running a small maple sugar business. Larry and Greta are both very active members of the board for the Acacia Valley Trail. The trail follows the Acacia brook and takes you through a beautiful woodland. They have spent much of their time working as volunteers to manage the trail and make it accessible to the public. Over the past three years the Goodwin’s and other volunteers have been working on a new section of the trail that travels up the Acacia brook and through much of the Goodwin’s woodland. The Acacia trail can be found on Mill Road off the Acacia Valley Rd in Hillgrove, Digby. Use of the trail is encouraged by the Goodwins and it is open to all as long as the trail is used respectfully.
Come explore and maybe even hike the Acacia Valley Trail Extension on October 1st at the woodland owner of the year award field day.
Western Region WOYA Public Field Day: October 01, 2016
Take Highway #101 to exit #26 at Digby.
From Kentville side of Digby turn left onto Acacia Valley Road.
From Yarmouth side of Digby turn right onto Acacia Valley Road.
Keep right onto Ridge Road.
Parking is in field across from civic address #2316 Ridge Road.
Approximately 6.5 km from Digby exit.
Frank and Lelia Machnik - Eastern Winner
Frank and Lelia Machnik love their two woodlands. Frank and Lelia have raised five children and worked for many years as teachers in Antigonish County. They now manage two woodlands and run a small tourism business. Although their woodlands and business keep them very busy they manage to find time to get involved in the community, meet with other woodland owners, even volunteer at the hospital and their church.
Their first woodland is located in Bayfield in Antigonish County, this 150 acre (59 hectare) lot was bought in the 1970s and it has become Frank and Lelias home. This is also the location of the Sea’scape Cottages, their tourism business. The lucky people who rent these cottages during the summer get to enjoy the comfort of being in a nicely furnished cottage that has a beautiful view of the beach and salt marsh that is adjacent to the Pomquet Beach Provincial Park. A lot of hard work has been put into managing the cottages as well as the large forested area on their land. There is also a lot of recreational activities enjoyed by many on their land, and these include walking the beach, hiking, bird watching, boating and many more.
Their second lot was bought in 2013, it is located in Polson Brook not far from the Machnik’s house. Frank is working hard and succeeding at turning an unmanaged 400 acre (157 hectare) woodland into a well-managed, sustainable and healthy woodland that will have a lot more value in the future. Frank is very passionate about caring for his woodlands and educating people about Nova Scotia’s natural resources and woodlot management. He loves to tell stories of events that have taken place on his woodlot and talk about the different tree species, wildlife and his sustainable woodland management practices.
Come explore the woodlot and see the beautiful view it offers on September 17th for the open field day.
Eastern Region WOYA Public Field Day: September 17, 2016
Leaving Exit 33 in Antigonish, heading East 17 Km to Exit 36.
Take a Left on Summerside / Bayfield Road.
Head North 5 Km to Old Ferry Road,
Take a left and travel 1.5 Km to Frank & Liela Machnek woodlot.