Women on the Land

Women on the Land aims to build a network of female landowners and stewards in Massachusetts and provide opportunities for education and connection. We host events throughout the year and encourage women to foster relationships with each other and their land. 

"Women on the Land" is a new publication that aims to help women landowners better understand their woodlands and make informed decisions to meet their goals. Based on interviews with women landowners and forestry professionals across the eastern United States, the publication aims to identify some of the most common questions, goals, and challenges of women landowners. Download "Women on the Land" PDF or request a free copy by emailing Lina Clifford.

Join the Women on the Land Listserv and Email List:

The Women on the Land Email List is intended for sharing official Women on the Land events and programming. Click this link to join the email list to get updates on upcoming events.

The Women on the Land listserv is intended for the use of sharing information and discussion of land conservation, forestry, ecology for female landowners, professionals, and others interested in these topics. You must be a Women on the Land listserv member in order to post messages or search the archives. 

  • To join the listserv, please email paulcat@umass.edu stating your name and why you are interested in joining the listserv. 
  • Listserv guidelines: This listserv is monitored, but is public. To send a message to the listserv, enter "womenontheland@groups.umass.edu" into your email. Please keep messages relevant. Keep in mind, hitting "reply" will send a message to the entire listserv. 


Upcoming Events:

    Book Group: Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

    • Join us every other month to discuss chapters of Braiding Sweetgrass! To sign up, please fill out this form
    • Each discussion has two sittings, one on Monday 12-1PM and one on Thursday 7-8PM to accomodate everyone's schedules.
    • The scheduled discussions are as follows:
      • Discussion 1: Start of book through end of section "Tending Sweetgrass"
        • Monday, Nov 28: 12-1PM
        • Thursday, December 1: 7-8PM
      • Discussion 2: "Picking Sweetgrass"
        • Monday, January 30: 12-1PM
        • Thursday, February 2: 7-8PM
      • Discussion 3: "Braiding Sweetgrass"
        • Monday, March 27: 12-1PM
        • Thursday, March 30: 7-8PM
      • Discussion 4: "Burning Sweetgrass"
        • Monday, May 29: 12-1PM
        • Thursday, June 1: 7-8PM

    This week's discussion questions (3/27 and 3/30):

    • What would living like an invasive plant, naturalized plant, or native plant look like (following along with Kimmerer's metaphors from the Chapter "Becoming Indigenous to Place")?
    • What are some ways we might ease "species loneliness" (deep, unnamed sadness stemming from estrangement from the rest of creation, from the loss of relationship) in our stewardship work, for ourselves and for others?
    • How does Kimmerer connect loss of species, culture, language, identify, and home in the Chapter "Putting Roots Down"? Do any of those connections resonate with your experience?
    • How might we hear the mutualistic marriage of lichen, as Kimmerer writes? How can we apply what Kimmerer teaches about lichen to our relationship to the earth?
    • What can we learn about ourselves and our communities from what Kimmerer writes about the ecology of old growth forests and pioneer species? What themes from other sections of the book does this metaphor emphasize?
    • Have you had a moment where you've learned from paying attention to the "intelligences other than our own," as Kimmerer writes? How have these moments influenced you?

    Resources and information from previous events:

    • Forest Management in the Face of Climate Change Webinar (January 19, 2023): Learning about the effects of climate change, such as increased invasive species and changing habitats, and how they impact our forests. This webinar includes a presentation from Christina McKeown, Climate Forester at Massachusetts DCR and offers tips for increasing forest resiliency.

    • New England Forest Ecology Webinar (January 19, 2021): Learning about the ecology of your woodland is an exciting and engaging way to interact with your property. It also provides an excellent foundation from which to understand your stewardship options better. This webinar will include a presentation from Emma Sass, a research fellow at the University of Massachusetts Department of Environmental Conservation/ USDA Forest Service’s Family Forest Research Center (FFRC).

    • Women Owning Woodlands Network Entomology Series: This series highlights a common insect impacting forests throughout the U.S paired with an interview of a woman landowner who has had to address that insect in managing her forest. ​​​​​​

    This work is funded through the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Working Forest Initiative.