Women on the Land

Women on the Land aims to build a network of women, trans, non-binary, and femme landowners and stewards in Massachusetts to provide opportunities for education and connection with one another and the land. Events take place year round.

"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:

Women in Conservation Gathering - Saturday, April 6 from 10am to 3pm (Wildlands Trust Headquarters in Plymouth, MA)

This year the Buzzards Bay Coalition, Wildlands Trust, and Women on the Land are partnering for a Women in Conservation Gathering on Saturday, April 6th from 10am-3pm at the Wildlands Trust Headquarters in Plymouth, MA. As a result of the success and feedback from last year's International Women's Day Discussion Panel and Gathering, we have changed our event to a format that will provide more learning and networking opportunities: this year's half-day event will consist of three workshops and a guided hike.

Please note that this is an event for all women and gender minorities. Help us spread the word by sharing the event within your organizations and communities, and keep an eye out for a registration link and agenda in the coming weeks.

Women on the Land Chainsaw Training - Saturday, April 6 & Sunday, April 7 from 8am to 5pm (Pelham, MA)

Women on the Land and the University of Massachusetts' Femmes in Forestry Club are partnering to offer simultaneous chainsaw trainings with time before and after for students, landowners, forest enthusiasts, and conservation professionals to connect. The training will feature two Game of Logging levels: level 1 and level 2. Level 1 is intended for beginners and Level 2 requires that you've already taken level 1.

The training is free and there are only 10 spots available. We are using an application to select participants based on community connectedness, actionable use for the training, diversity, and skill level. Applications are due by Sunday night, February 11th. Selections will be announced by Friday, February 16. Please apply if you're interested in gaining more confidence when it comes to chainsaw use!

Click here to learn more about the training. If you have any questions, please email Lina Clifford.

The application for this training is now closed.




Resources and information from previous events

  • Managing for Biodiverisity Webinar - Thursday, March 7 from 6:30pm to 8pm (Zoom)

    • The “little things that run the world” are in big trouble: insect populations are plummeting, and many species are headed for extinction. This insect species decline has big implications for our food systems, ecology, and biodiversity. The good news is that we can turn this around with the stewardship of our forests. Forests are critical habitat for pollinators and other essential species. By protecting native plants, controlling invasive plants, and leaving deadwood, we can restore vital insect populations. This presentation by Heidi Dollard of the Massachusetts Pollinator Network discusses what you can do to help!

  • Networking Zoom Lunch Hour - Thursday, December 14 from 12pm to 1pm (Zoom)
    • Women on the Land hosted a lunch-hour networking zoom call! Michele Grzenda, Lincoln's Conservation Director and WOTL Steering Committee member kicked off the conversation ith a 10 minute case study on "Trails: How different trail use activities affect open space and tools you can use to determine appropriate trail uses." Then discussion was opened up to other conservation and stewardship conversations.
  • Women on the Land Keystone Training - Thursday 10/26 through Sunday 10/29 at Harvard Forest in Petersham, MA
    • The Keystone Project is an intensive, 3-day retreat style training program focusing on forest and wildlife conservation. The Keystone curriculum includes indoor and outdoor sessions on forest ecology and management, wildlife management, forest health, land conservation, and landowner outreach. For more than 30 years, Keystone has educated forest owners and local leaders who have a significant impact on their communities. Keystone Cooperators can own forestland, be involved in the care and stewardship of a property or be an active community leader. In return, participants agree to return to their community as an advocate for forest conservation. Learn more about Keystone.
    • This fall, the Keystone Project partnered with the Women on the Land (WOTL) network to host an all-women Keystone training. The WOTL Keystone training took place Thursday evening, October 26, through Sunday afternoon, October 29 at the Harvard Forest in Petersham, MA. Click here to find a Keystone Cooperator near you.
  • "Restoring Old Growth Characteristics" Webinar (October 4, 2023): This webinar presented by Paul Catanzaro, MA State Extension Forester and Professor at University of Massachusetts Amherst, covered topics from the new publication Restoring Old-Growth Characteristics to New England’s and New York’s Forests. Old-growth forests were once the predominant natural condition across New England and New York before European settlement; however, it is now one of the rarest. Though new old-growth forests cannot be created, there is an opportunity through both passive and active management to restore old-growth characteristics in our current forests. There is renewed focus on restoring these characteristics given their compatibility with objectives such as biodiversity conservation, forest carbon, and resilience to climate change. The goal of the publication is to increase the amount of old-growth characteristics in the region by giving decision-makers the information they need to adopt old-growth restoration strategies in ways that complement their ownership goals, helping to sustain our native forests and their many benefits.
  • "Bugs and Brews" Event at Rapscallion Pub in partnership with Opacum Land Trust (September 10, 2023): An in-person event where forest health specialist and Opacum Land Trust Director Felicia Hubacz presented about the pests and diseases impacting our local forest health. Felicia brough specimens to see up close and Women on the Land sponsored a light lunch. Participants were able to purchase local beer, wine, and additional snacks from Rapscallion Pub. 
  • Mother's Day Weekend Spring Flower Walk (May 13, 2023): An in-person hike at Silvio O Conte to celebrate Mother's Day where family, partners, and children are welcome. Lanie Wilder, Executive Director of Opacum Land Trust, guided us in learning different native and invasive plants.

  • Forest Resiliency Woods Wak (April 21, 2023): An in person woods walk with Christina McKeown, Climate Forester at Massachusetts DCR, at private landowner Susie Feldman's property. This walk focused on learning to spot elements of climate resiliency and vulnerability in the forest. Women learned about Susie's process of protecting her land, too!

  • 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.