The Quiet Corner Initiative organizes workshops where landowners can share and improve their expertise on small-scale, private woodlands management. Wildlife specialists, tax attorneys, local owners and their families, foresters, farmers, loggers, Yale faculty, students, and researchers, all meet and learn together with a hands-on approach to build collective stewardship knowledge. The Workshop Series has covered topics ranging from land use history to wildlife habitat, funding opportunities, and wood processing.

All our workshops are free and open to the public! And they will always remain this way, but please do RSVP so we know how many people we need to host and feed. Workshops take place at the Yale-Myers Forest Camp or in the Yale-Myers Forest.


Oxen up front, Woodmizer in the middle, and horses in the back for an integrated draft-logging workshop! (picture by Monte Kawahara)


Upcoming Workshops

  • FOREST FARMING: SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS - Sunday, April 13, 2014, 10 am to 2 pm (NEW DATE)

Mushrooms, ginseng, ramps, nuts, and berries are some of the many products that New England woodlands can yield. During this hands-on workshop, attendants will learn how to produce their own Shiitake mushrooms. We provide red oak logs from our forest and an inoculation demonstration: you come with a power drill, you leave with a future supply of delicious food.

Please RSVP to Jeff so that we know how much material to order!


The process of getting an easement for your land is often lengthy, complex, and very confusing. During this workshop, we will bring in conservation specialists that will take the time to meet with owners on an individual basis and recommend steps to help you along the way, get started, or simply learn more about what an easement is.


Past Workshops



Draft animal farmers and loggers Sam Rich and Erika Marczak were back in the Yale-Myers Forest this year to haul out freshly cut white pines in a selective harvest with their horses and steers. Woodworker Denis Day turned the trees into boards with his bandsaw mill, and a team of forestry students aided by local owner Rich Dezso built planters for all attendants. The techniques presented in this workshop are both low impact and low cost, and they can be a good way of managing your woodlot. Horse-logging can protect soils, leave the woods intact, and is adapted to harvest smaller trees.

Speakers: Sam Rich and Erika Marczak (We-Lik-It Farm), Denis Day (Eastford, CT).

  • AGROFORESTRY: SILVOPASTURE - Saturday, September 21, 2013

Pasturing cows, pigs, goats, or poultry in the woods can be a mutual benefit for both the health of your animals and the production of quality timber and nuts. But it can also go wrong... Extension forester and livestock farmer Brett Chedzoy came to talk about silvopasture, explain what makes a project successful, and show us how to pick a good site. Delicious food produced through silvopasture at local farm Bush Meadows helped drive the point home!

Speakers: Brett Chedzoy (Cornell Cooperative Extension).

You can now download the materials presented at this workshop!

  • CONSERVATION: ESTATE PLANNING - Thursday, April 18, 2013

Do you think you might want to protect your family land but are not sure where to start? This workshop presented a simple set of steps to help you get your affairs in order and design a protection plan that accomplishes exactly what you want to do. 

Speakers: Steven Broderick (Goodwin Forest Center), Bill Dakin (Kahan, Kerensky & Caposella, LLP) and Lindsay Michel (CT Forest and Park Association).

You can now download the materials presented at this workshop!


Our topic was small-scale wood processing and wood utilization. Horse-loggers Sam Rich and Erika Marczak pulled out two freshly felled white pines from our forest and we had a bandsaw mill on-site operated by Will Conklin, an educator, sawyer and timber-framer from Western Massachusetts. A team of forestry students then turned the lumber into boxes for all workshop attendants.

Speakers: Will Conklin (carpenter, educator at Local Wood Works), Erika Marczak (farmer, Draft Animal Power Network) and Sam Rich (horse farmer, horse logger).

You can now see the pictures taken at this workshop!


Sam and Erika introduce their team of Percheron horses to the group during the Sawmill Workshop (picture by Alex Barrett)

  • WILDLIFE: IMPROVING HABITAT ON YOUR LAND - Saturday, October 13, 2012

This session focused on the wildlife of Connecticut forests and explored the tools and funding opportunities for landowners to create and improve wildlife habitat on their land.

Speakers: Dr. David King (USFS and University of Massachusetts at Amherst), Dr. Mark Ashton (Director of School Forests), Matt Snurkowski (NCRS), Max Lambert (Master of Environmental Science student)

You can now see the pictures taken at this workshop!


How did your forest come to look how it does now? During this workshop, we explored the processes responsible for creating the hardwood forests so ubiquitous in northeastern Connecticut. We then took a look at what active forest management looks like and tried our hand at a couple of silvicultural prescriptions.

Speakers: Marlyse Duguid (PhD student, Research Coordinator), Kris Covey (PhD student)


This workshop focused on understanding the history of your woodlands. After sessions about plant identification and soil sampling, we took a hike through the forest and used "detective skills" to interpret the past land use of a property thanks to clues such as landscape features (like stone walls), soils (like evidence of plowing) and vegetation (wolf trees, mountain laurel, and so on).

Speakers: Dr. Mark Ashton (Director of School Forests), Dr. Philip Marshall (botanist and historical ecologist), Marlyse Duguid (PhD student, Research Coordinator), Alex Barrett (Forest Manager), Angela Orthmeyer (Outreach Coordinator)


Landowners and faculty discussing wildlife habitat during the Fall 2012 Workshop

Landowners looking down a soil pit during the Past Land Use Workshop (picture by Angela Orthmeyer)

Summer Seminars

Every other Thursday evening in June and July, the Yale-Myers camp fills up with community members and students gathering for the Summer Research Seminar Series. Members of the local community, visiting scholars, faculty and students present their work at this popular annual series. All seminars are open to the public and refreshments are served.

In the past four years, topics have included:


  • Connecticut woodland owners (Mary Tyrell, Global Institute of Sustainable Forestry)
  • Methane production of New England forests (Kris Covey, Yale School of Forestry)
  • Oak mastings and their importance for wildlife (Michael Gregonis, CT DEEP)
  • Carbon levels after timber harvests (Kayanna Warren, Yale School of Forestry)
  • The impact of beavers on our landscapes (Denise Burchsted, Keene State University)
  • The effect of fear and defense mechanisms on wildlife in Connecticut meadows (Dror Hawlena, Yale School of Forestry)
  • Native American settlements in New England (Dr. Robert G. Goodby, Franklin Pierce University)
  • Understory plants of New England (Marlyse Duguid, Yale School of Forestry)


The Environmental Film Festival at Yale


In 2013 for the first time, this student-run festival moved to the Yale-Myers Forest. For this first edition, we showed two documentaries by filmmaker Ian Cheney, New England native and graduate of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental studies:

  • The City DarkOur Quiet Corner is one of the last places on the East Coast where stars still shine. In THE CITY DARK, cancer researchers, philosophers and scientists team up to find out what we lose, when we lose the night.
  • King CornTwo friends grow one acre of America's most-subsidized grain to understand our food system. What they find raises questions about how we eat and how we farm.



You can find more pictures of our workshops on Flickr, and fact sheets are currently being compiled to summarize useful information that was discussed during the seminars.

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