Out of the Woods: Products from the UConn Forest Provide Educational, Environmental Benefits

The 2,100-acre UConn Forest surrounds the Storrs campus and includes parcels located in South Willington and Coventry. The forest is instrumental for teaching, research, and extension work done at UConn, also as providing wildlife habitat, watershed protection and other environmental benefits. Many popular recreational hiking trails are located on UConn Forest. The Department of Natural Resources and therefore the Environment (NRE) within the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources manages the forest.

The UConn Forest may be a considered a “working forest” therein proactive management is undertaken to sustain and enhance the various benefits the forest provides. Active management can sustain and perpetuate various tree and plant communities, enhance habitats and address forest health concerns. Conducting research on invasive insects, forest ecology, the dynamics of tree movement, water, and wildlife informs forest management decisions at state and regional levels.

Thomas Worthley is an Associate Extension Professor with a joint appointment with Extension and NRE. He uses the forest for his undergraduate and extension education activities and helps to facilitate research projects that happen on the forest. Worthley works with a crew of undergraduate students, the UConn Forest Crew, to attend to day-to-day management tasks.

Thomas Worthey, forest sustainability extension educator, left, Eric Colleran ’22 (CAHNR) Jose Ayala ’22 (CAHNR) and Alexandra Pouliot ’23 (CAHNR) use chains, a trailer and a tractor to tug a log from the Fenton Tract of the UConn Forest near Horsebarn Hill Road on Aug. 2, 2021. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)Thomas Worthey, forest sustainability extension educator, left, Eric Colleran ’22 (CAHNR) Jose Ayala ’22 (CAHNR) and Alexandra Pouliot ’23 (CAHNR) use chains, a trailer and a tractor to tug a log from the Fenton Tract of the UConn Forest near Horsebarn Hill Road on Aug. 2, 2021.

Jose Ayala ’22 (CAHNR), left, and Alexandra Pouliot ’23 (CAHNR) roll logs within the Fenton Tract of the UConn Forest near Horsebarn Hill Road on Aug. 2, 2021. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)Jose Ayala ’22 (CAHNR), left, and Alexandra Pouliot ’23 (CAHNR) roll logs within the Fenton Tract of the UConn Forest near Horsebarn Hill Road on Aug. 2, 2021. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

A chainsaw axes and logs seen within the Fenton Tract of the UConn Forest near Horsebarn Hill Road on Aug. 2, 2021. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)A chainsaw axes and logs seen within the Fenton Tract of the UConn Forest near Horsebarn Hill Road on Aug. 2, 2021. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

Eric Colleran ’22 (CAHNR) moves a board cut from a log within the Fenton Tract of the UConn Forest near Horsebarn Hill Road on Aug. 2, 2021. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)Eric Colleran ’22 (CAHNR) moves a board cut from a log within the Fenton Tract of the UConn Forest near Horsebarn Hill Road on Aug. 2, 2021. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

Jose Ayala ’22 (CAHNR) left, and Eric Colleran ’22 (CAHNR) use a transportable sawmill to chop board from a log harvested within the Fenton Tract of the UConn Forest near Horsebarn Hill Road on Aug. 2, 2021. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)Jose Ayala ’22 (CAHNR) left, and Eric Colleran ’22 (CAHNR) use a transportable sawmill to chop board from a log harvested within the Fenton Tract of the UConn Forest near Horsebarn Hill Road on Aug. 2, 2021. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

Thomas Worthey, forest sustainability extension educator, left, Eric Colleran ’22 (CAHNR), Jose Ayala ’22 (CAHNR)and Alexandra Pouliot ’23 (CAHNR) erect a replacement sign for the Moss tract of the UConn Forest on Aug. 2, 2021. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)Thomas Worthey, forest sustainability extension educator, left, Eric Colleran ’22 (CAHNR), Jose Ayala ’22 (CAHNR)and Alexandra Pouliot ’23 (CAHNR) erect a replacement sign for the Moss tract of the UConn Forest on Aug. 2, 2021. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

Eric Colleran ’22 (CAHNR), left, Alexandra Pouliot ’23 (CAHNR) and Jose Ayala ’22 (CAHNR) erect a replacement sign for the Moss tract of the UConn Forest on Aug. 2, 2021. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)Eric Colleran ’22 (CAHNR), left, Alexandra Pouliot ’23 (CAHNR) and Jose Ayala ’22 (CAHNR) erect a replacement sign for the Moss tract of the UConn Forest on Aug. 2, 2021. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

Jose Ayala ’22 (CAHNR) drives a tractor pulling a sign off from the Fenton Tract of the UConn Forest near Horsebarn Hill Road on Aug. 2, 2021. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)Jose Ayala ’22 (CAHNR) drives a tractor pulling a sign off from the Fenton Tract of the UConn Forest near Horsebarn Hill Road on Aug. 2, 2021. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

Thomas Worthey, forest sustainability extension educator, left, and Eric Colleran ’22 (CAHNR) roll logs into place before employing a portable sawmill within the Fenton Tract of the UConn Forest near Horsebarn Hill Road on Aug. 2, 2021. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)Thomas Worthey, forest sustainability extension educator, left, and Eric Colleran ’22 (CAHNR) roll logs into place before employing a portable sawmill within the Fenton Tract of the UConn Forest near Horsebarn Hill Road on Aug. 2, 2021. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

Alexandra Pouliot ’23 (CAHNR) uses a sequence to haul a log within the Fenton Tract of the UConn Forest near Horsebarn Hill Road on Aug. 2, 2021. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)Alexandra Pouliot ’23 (CAHNR) uses a sequence to haul a log within the Fenton Tract of the UConn Forest near Horsebarn Hill Road on Aug. 2, 2021. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

Thomas Worthey, forest sustainability extension educator, left, and Eric Colleran ’22 (CAHNR) use a transportable sawmill to chop boards from a log within the Fenton Tract of the UConn Forest near Horsebarn Hill Road on Aug. 2, 2021. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)Thomas Worthey, forest sustainability extension educator, left, and Eric Colleran ’22 (CAHNR) use a transportable sawmill to chop boards from a log within the Fenton Tract of the UConn Forest near Horsebarn Hill Road on Aug. 2, 2021. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

Jose Ayala ’22 (CAHNR), left, brushes sawdust from a newly cut board from a log harvested within the Fenton Tract of the UConn Forest near Horsebarn Hill Road on Aug. 2, 2021.

At right is Thomas Worthey, forest sustainability extension educator. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)Jose Ayala ’22 (CAHNR), left, brushes sawdust from a newly cut board from a log harvested within the Fenton Tract of the UConn Forest near Horsebarn Hill Road on Aug. 2, 2021. At right is Thomas Worthey, forest sustainability extension educator. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

Alexandra Pouliot ’23 (CAHNR), left, and Eric Colleran ’22 (CAHNR) use a transportable sawmill within the Fenton Tract of the UConn Forest near Horsebarn Hill Road on Aug. 2, 2021. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)Alexandra Pouliot ’23 (CAHNR), left, and Eric Colleran ’22 (CAHNR) use a transportable sawmill within the Fenton Tract of the UConn Forest near Horsebarn Hill Road on Aug. 2, 2021. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

Jose Ayala ’22 (CAHNR) nails down shingles on a replacement sign for the Moss tract of the UConn Forest on Aug. 2, 2021. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)Jose Ayala ’22 (CAHNR) nails down shingles on a replacement sign for the Moss tract of the UConn Forest on Aug. 2, 2021. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

Thomas Worthey, forest sustainability extension educator, left, Alexandra Pouliot ’23 (CAHNR), Eric Colleran ’22 (CAHNR), and Jose Ayala ’22 (CAHNR) use chains, a trailer and a tractor to tug a log from the Fenton Tract of the UConn Forest near Horsebarn Hill Road on Aug. 2, 2021. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)Thomas Worthey, forest sustainability extension educator, left, Alexandra Pouliot ’23 (CAHNR), Eric Colleran ’22 (CAHNR), and Jose Ayala ’22 (CAHNR) use chains, a trailer and a tractor to tug a log from the Fenton Tract of the UConn Forest near Horsebarn Hill Road on Aug. 2, 2021. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

Jose Ayala ’22 (CAHNR), left, and Alexandra Pouliot ’23 (CAHNR) position a go online a transportable sawmill within the Fenton Tract of the UConn Forest near Horsebarn Hill Road on Aug. 2, 2021. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)Jose Ayala ’22 (CAHNR), left, and Alexandra Pouliot ’23 (CAHNR) position a go online a transportable sawmill within the Fenton Tract of the UConn Forest near Horsebarn Hill Road on Aug. 2, 2021. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

Jose Ayala ’22 (CAHNR) looks on during logging within the Fenton Tract of the UConn Forest near Horsebarn Hill Road on Aug. 2, 2021. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)Jose Ayala ’22 (CAHNR) looks on during logging within the Fenton Tract of the UConn Forest near Horsebarn Hill Road on Aug. 2, 2021. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

Alexandra Pouliot ’23 (CAHNR), center, and Jose Ayala ’22 (CAHNR), right, lift a newly cut board from a log as Thomas Worthey, forest sustainability extension educator, looks on within the Fenton Tract of the UConn Forest near Horsebarn Hill Road on Aug. 2, 2021. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)Alexandra Pouliot ’23 (CAHNR), center, and Jose Ayala ’22 (CAHNR), right, lift a newly cut board from a log as Thomas Worthey, forest sustainability extension educator, looks on within the Fenton Tract of the UConn Forest near Horsebarn Hill Road on Aug. 2, 2021. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

Alexandra Pouliot ’23 (CAHNR), left, and Eric Colleran ’22 (CAHNR) use a transportable sawmill within the Fenton Tract of the UConn Forest near Horsebarn Hill Road on Aug. 2, 2021. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)Alexandra Pouliot ’23 (CAHNR), left, and Eric Colleran ’22 (CAHNR) use a transportable sawmill within the Fenton Tract of the UConn Forest near Horsebarn Hill Road on Aug. 2, 2021. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

Jose Ayala ’22 (CAHNR), left, nails down shingles on a replacement sign for the Moss tract of the UConn Forest on Aug. 2, 2021. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)Jose Ayala ’22 (CAHNR), left, nails down shingles on a replacement sign for the Moss tract of the UConn Forest on Aug. 2, 2021. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

Recently the UConn Forest Crew might be found harvesting and removing several dead, wind-damaged and unsafe trees along one among the paths . Forest crew members are all professionally trained on chainsaw use and safety, also like other woods-work equipment. Felled trees were hack , firewood stacked, and sizable logs, suitable for more durable wood products were drawn out of the woods. These logs were milled into boards on UConn Forest’s portable bandsaw mill.

Occasional wood product sales and small-scale lumber production within the UConn Forest provide funding for management initiatives. Furniture, educational toys, cutting boards, and picnic tables are a couple of of the various products made with UConn lumber. Utilizing wood for durable products from trees that are harvested or lost thanks to damage and disease are how of storing a large portion of the carbon that has been sequestered in those trees.

Some of the wood from UConn Forest trees was wont to produce the components and assemble new UConn Forest sign kiosks, as seen in these photos. These will become places for trail maps and other information for UConn Forest users. Locally grown, locally harvested, locally processed and assembled, and with care will last long enough for an additional tree to grow.