RUTLAND, VT. — Come to the Vermont State Fair and visit the Philbrook Forestry Building the week of August 16th-20th. The Forestry Building at the Vermont State Fair has been providing an educational display since 1996, under the leadership of Jim Philbrook, retired Rutland County Forester. The 2022 display once again focuses on providing education on the forests of Vermont, and how they are managed sustainably.
Staffed and coordinated by volunteers, Vermont Forests, Parks and Recreation, Rutland County Audubon, Green Mountain National Forest, Vermont Woodlands Association and Vermont Tree Farm, this unique educational display provides something for everyone.
From outside of the building, you can take a photo op in the giant poplar chair, fill out your raffle ticket for firewood or wood pellets and purchase a seedling to take home. On the other end, listen to the birdsongs and learn about Rutland County Audubon’s new nature trail on Whipple Hollow Road. Turn around and there is the mini lean-to, with recreation opportunities statewide.
The pollinator pathway will take you to the monarch caterpillars feeding, and if we are lucky, will see them pupate! A log grading display from Gagnon Sawmill, and an Alaskan sawmill demonstration from Rutland City Forester Tim Smith might be noisy, but lots of fun to watch!
You can’t miss the Kid’s Cabin! When you walk in the doors you will find a log cabin with a quiz board, leaves and birds, wildlife and coloring, a doorway that most adults have to duck into, and even its own “fireplace.”
The giant maple tree along the full length of one wall, lets the viewer see the entire tree sawn from bottom to top. Always a hit is the red oak pump, treating everyone to why a red oak can make bubbles under water, and why barrels are made with white oak.
Concerned about what’s wrong with your trees, or where the Emerald Ash Borer is? Current insect and disease and other forest health issues for 2022, and a quiz board to test your knowledge are there, also. Central in the building is a new display on how family forests can help combat climate change, with information on carbon programs, and what it all means for you!
A variety of forest products are displayed from local donations and the Vermont Wood Works Council. With the resurrection of the Big Tree Program, there is new information on all of those giants you see on streets and hillsides across the state, many of which are in Rutland County. The harvesting corner focuses on programs for loggers, as well as water quality guides for landowners preparing for a harvest, and a new APP for water quality. Stafford Vo-tech will offer up information on their programs with some great photos of students at work in the woods.
You can even test your knowledge with the wood quiz, and an opportunity to win an annual subscription to Northern Woodlands Magazine. There are places to rest, breathe in the smell of pine, watch some old movies, or have a snack at one of the picnic tables. If you are really lucky, you might even catch a certain bear strolling the building, with a ranger in tow, handing out goodies to kids. All in all, there is something for everyone!
–Vermont Woodlands Association