The annual Massachusetts Town Forest Conference, a platform for fostering collaboration among a range of professionals and volunteers who contribute to the management of community forests, will be held on Saturday, Oct. 21, at the Ashland Community Center.

The free conference recognizes local efforts to enhance the climate resilience of community forests, and underscores the indispensable role that town forests play in local ecosystems.

The event features presentations, networking opportunities and field tours. The audience includes foresters, planners, arborists, conservation commission members, land trusts, nonprofit organizations, forest landowners, and more.

This year’s theme is “The Now and Future Forest in Massachusetts.”

Sessions will include “Climate Change and the Threats to the Future Forest,” and “Massachusetts Forest Health Year in Review.” The event will include tours of the Salem End Sanctuary Caves, a rain garden, Bay Circuit Trail and quarry tour, and two tours of the Bungalow Historic Site.

Registration and coffee will begin at 8:30 a.m. Ashland Town Manager Mike Herbert will give opening remarks. The event will conclude at 3 p.m.

Pre-registration is required and is available online.

The roots of the Town Forest Conference trace back to 1928, when the Massachusetts Forestry Association orchestrated the first-ever gathering of town forest committees in Boston. In 2013, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation re-established the conference in commemoration of the centennial of the state’s town forest enabling law, the Town Forest Act of 1913.