Our History


The Penn's Woods Project is an offshoot of the Northwest Pennsylvania Sustainable Forestry Project (NPSFP), an initiative of Allegheny College’s Center for Economic and Environmental Development (CEED). NPSFP exists to improve private forest management practices and to increase the economic contribution of the wood products industry in Northwestern Pennsylvania. To help ensure that landowners understand the economic and ecological impact of their valuable resource, the co-directors of Allegheny’s Forestry Project, Terry Bensel, professor of environmental science, and Richard Bowden, professor of environmental science, designed this project in 2006 to focus on educating the landowners of tomorrow.

The modules were largely designed by students at Allegheny College. Preliminary tests of the modules’ effectiveness were conducted by Paula Carey ('08) at local high schools. The modules were distributed beginning in Fall 2009.

Stacia-Fe Gillen ('14), Taylor Weiss ('11), and Alessandra Trunzo ('11) helped to develop this web site. Trunzo finalized the modules and tested the modules in urban and suburban settings as part of her senior thesis. Stacia-Fe Gillen ('14) is currently the project coordinator.


The Penn's Woods Project developers are grateful for the support shown by the Allegheny College community and their partners across the Commonwealth. Generous funding from the John Nesbit Rees and Sarah Henne Rees Charitable Foundation enabled Allegheny College to begin developing the forest program. After its inception, a grant from Wild Resource Conservation Fund (WRCF) provided the funds necessary for the purchase of materials and other expenses of the project.