Outstanding Educational Tree Farm

Marshfield School Forest

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The Marshfield School Forest was first recipient of The Outstanding Educational Tree Farm award.  This is a new award program initiated by the Wisconsin Tree Farm Committee.  This award recognizes educational and other organizational Tree Farms that are not family owned. 

The award was presented to Mark Zee, School Forest Administrator, at the school board meeting on Wednesday, October 12, 2022.  Dan Peterson is the nominating forester and has worked with the Marshfield School Forest for many years.  The 320 acre well managed school forest is located southwest of Marshfield with aspen, oak and pine as the primary species.

An all-weather access road 1.5 miles long, has been built through the property that is used for commercial logging operations and school bus access.  The road was built by timber sale revenues from the property.  Logging access trails off the main road have been developed into cross country skiing and hiking trails.  Lindsey Bluff, a high oak and aspen ridge runs East – West across the middle of the property that is traversed by these trails giving nice overlooks to the surrounding landscape.

 One of the first things the School Forest did was to develop a long range forest management plan for the property and then implement it. The first forest management plan was written in 1956. Today the property is a wonderful example of "multiple use" forest management, providing numerous year-round outdoor environmental education opportunities, recreational hiking and skiing trails, public hunting opportunities, and a sustainable flow of valuable forest products. Since harvest activities began on the property in the late 1970's, thousands of cords of wood have been taken off the property in carefully planned harvests. Since 2000 there have

been 5 commercial harvests on the Marshfield School Forest on 225 total acres. Timber harvests have played a key role in developing the property.

 

The Marshfield School Forest is a certified Tree Farm in the American Tree Farm System and is dedicated to the sustainable management of privately owned forestland for "Wood-Water-Wildlife-Recreation" – and Education!  The Marshfield School Forest Goals and Objectives maintain things which include managing the forestlands to provide outdoor environmental education opportunities for the students of the Marshfield School District.  They also practice sound forestry for the promotion of healthy vigorous forests and growth of high value forest products.  The have created and maintain diverse wildlife habitats through sustainable forestry practices on the property for the benefit of resident wildlife populations.  They also provide diverse outdoor recreation opportunities in conjunction with the ongoing forest management of the school forest: cross country skiing, biking, hiking, bird watching, berry picking, fishing,

hunting, etc.  This award is well deserved.