By Carol Lea Spence
Special to KyForward
This year’s Kentucky Wood Expo, Sept. 20-21, at Masterson Station Park in Lexington, promises to be bigger and better than ever before, according to event organizers, which include Kentucky Forest Industries Association and the University of Kentucky Department of Forestry. The event boasts more activities, educational presentations, shows and exhibits than previous expos.
There will be demonstrations of chainsaw sculpting by Mike Pace of the Stihl Pro Carving Team, live lumberjack competitions by the IronJack Traveling Shows and Competitions, which will include sawing, pole climbing and log rolling, and local police, fire and fitness center personnel competitions in cross-cut sawing, axe throwing and stock chainsaw competitions.
More than 100 exhibits will include heavy equipment demonstrations, craft and food booths, music and educational displays. Youth from all over the state will participate in forestry-related activities. About 1,000 elementary students will learn the importance of the wood industry, while high school youth will compete for prizes in forestry-related competitions such as tree and wood identification, insects and diseases, and chainsaw part identification.
Forestry students from the University of Kentucky and universities from surrounding states will compete for bragging rights in the axe throw, stock chainsaw and underhand chop.
The UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment will set up their Critter Tent, where visitors can handle and view the Department of Forestry’s collection of nonvenomous, live amphibians and reptiles and the Entomology Department’s collection of tarantulas, scorpions, giant roaches and other creatures.
UK Forestry Extension will offer a number of educational opportunities both days for those wanting to learn more about forestry and forestry-related topics. The Woodland Owners Short Course begins at 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 21. The program is designed to help both novice and experienced woodland owners learn how to manage their woodlands. Registration for the short course includes admission to both days of the expo. Course registration is online here.
Other topics covered will include protecting trees from the emerald ash borer; amphibians and reptiles in Kentucky’s forests, with an emphasis on snake identification; digital cameras, lenses and accessories for outdoor photography; and a nature photography session when participants will be introduced to the concepts and principles of the art form.
Other sessions will feature talks on residential tree care, wildlife food plots, wildlife damage control, wood identification, restoration of the American chestnut and tree identification.
Log A Load for Kids will hold a silent auction over the two days of the event, and LogSome Miles 5K Race will take place Sept. 21. Both activities will benefit the Kentucky Children’s Hospital. Since 1997, the Kentucky Forest Industries Association has contributed more than $375,000 to the children’s hospital.
Both woodland and urban dwellers will find plenty to interest them at the 2013 Kentucky Wood Expo. For a full schedule of events or to order advance tickets, contact Kentucky Forest Industries Association at 502-695-3979. The expo is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 20, and from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sept. 21. Adult admission is $7 at the gate ($5 in advance), and $5 for children 6 to 12 years old. Children younger than 6 are admitted free. For more information, click here.
Carol Lea Spence is a writer for UK AgNews in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.