Where is Everybody? Making Merck Forest Approachable for Visitors

Sometimes it seems like nothing is happening at the farm, but that is far from the truth.

How does Merck Forest get visitors involved in the day-to-day activities of our working landscape?

It is not always easy to invite the public into our daily operations: who wants to volunteer to castrate the piglets or de-worm the lambs? How many people have time to follow the implementation of the ten year forest management plan?

Chances are not many of you are raising your hands in a hurry.

Merck Forest is an actively managed 3,000 acre property, and so much of it seems off limits to visitors. Or not visible, not approachable. Sometimes, Amy will send visitors to the farm, and they come back down 20 minutes later. “Where is everybody at the farm? We didn’t see anyone,” they’ll say.

This is a challenge we face week-to-week. We want to change that. Merck Forest staff wants you to feel like you can take part in tangible, visible farm activities or forest work.

Sarah (ed. director), Timothy (farm manager), and Chris (trail maintenance coordinator) have been developing ways for you to get your hands dirty with us: Year-long apprenticeships, volunteering opportunities, trail crew, seasonal school offerings, and programs like Farm Chores.

Programs are important ways to let the community share in our work; being such a large working landscape, sometimes our small staff cannot always be visible to the public. But set program times allow you to interact with the farm or forest when things are happening!

We invite anyone with an interest to contact our staff and learn more.

Next post: Get your hands dirty with us…Apprenticeships at Merck Forest

These two helped catalog species during MFFC’s fist BioBlitz, held last May. Programs like the BioBlitz are great ways to be involved with Merck Forest.

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