Be tree-aware of the projects the local Soil and Water Conservation District is doing at Isinours this summer.

"The main focus for this year will be examining past, present and future restoration projects and procedures taking place at Isinours," said Fillmore Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) representative Dan Bradt.

He said the SWCD forestry field day is slated for Wednesday, July 30, at the Isinours Forestry Unit just north of Preston on County Road 17.

"Fillmore Soil and Water Conservation District is hosting this event to promote public awareness regarding local forestry restoration projects," he added.

Bradt also explained there is work being done this year at Isinours that presented a great opportunity to be highlighted. It is a joint project between The Nature Conservancy, Conservation Corps of Minnesota and Iowa, and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Forestry Division.

Presenters this year will be Jim Edgar, a DNR forester; Mitch Gilbert, a private forester; and Rich Biske of The Nature Conservancy. Topics that will be covered during the tour include bluff prairie restoration, cedar and invasive buckthorn removal, and other demonstrations and projects carried out in years past.

"A significant portion of the Root River watershed is within forestland and the field day will provide information about how to keep forests healthy and well managed, which will consequently create an important buffer zone to decrease soil erosion and pollutant runoff that can eventually lead into the Root River watershed," Bradt said.

The field day includes a hike through the Isinours Unit, opportunities to see the landscape and a chance to ask questions of the foresters throughout the hike.

Bradt continued, "There will be a variety of ecosystems within a small area, paired with great views throughout, and that will provide an excellent experience for novice and experienced hikers alike."

Questions and answers will be welcomed throughout the tours. Anyone interested in the great outdoors and local forestry restoration projects is welcome to attend.

"There may be times where hiking through difficult terrain may occur, but accommodations will be made for those who may have difficulty navigating through potentially rough terrain," Bradt said. "Appropriate clothing should be worn for hiking through woodland terrain. There may be irritating plants such as poison ivy, nettles and parsnip. Good sturdy shoes should be worn. Bug spray would also be a great idea."

Bradt stated the forestry days are an important aspect of the SWCD's mission to educate the public about best management practices and resources available for enacting these management practices on one's own land.

"We hope this field day will be a great opportunity to accomplish this....This is a great opportunity to become aware of the work of the DNR, to determine best practices, to produce best outcome for our area and its wellbeing," Bradt said. "Also, it's a visual example of the good that comes about through collaboration of different organizations - the DNR, Conservation Corps, The Nature Conservancy - to work together and accomplish a shared vision and goal. It will be a fun and educational outing enjoyed by all, and we hope to see a great turnout. We're hoping for good weather."

The 2014 Fillmore County SWCD Forestry Field Day is on the calendar for Wednesday, July 30, taking place at the Isinours Forestry Unit, located just north of Preston. Tours will begin at 6 p.m. with a light dinner being served at 5:30 p.m. The tour will last until dusk.