The future of Tree School: 2021 and beyond

As Glenn and I work on planning education programs for 2021, we recognize the continued need for virtual programing. This past March 20 we would have gathered again for Clackamas Tree School, but once again, it was not safe to hold an in-person event at Clackamas Community College. Coming into the position of Tree School Coordinator, I never would have thought that I would have to cancel one Tree School and skip another. However, with the continued support of our partners, we have been successful in keeping Tree School going online, despite the pandemic.

In spite of missing two in-person Clackamas Tree Schools, we are thrilled that we were able to work with the Partnership for Forestry Education and benefit from the grant that OFRI secured with ODF. Our team worked hard and fast (really fast) to bring you Tree School Online. From April 21, 2020, through March 16, 2021, We compiled 47 Tree School Online webinars with a spectacular library of woodland management resources curated for you by the professionals you know and rely on to assist you with your woodland management education. Our reach went far beyond the 662 people that registered for Clackamas Tree School in 2020. Between the live webinars and Youtube views of the recordings, Tree School Online classes have been viewed over 10,000 times.

While we reflect on the success of Tree School Online, and we discuss plans to move beyond our current schedule ending on June 15, we understand that not everyone has access to the internet or a computer. We also recognize that it does not replace field classes. We all miss getting outside and learning in the woods together. However, as long as we are under the threat of COVID, the health and safety of our community is our biggest priority. So, what does that mean for Tree School in 2021? We do plan to take a break from Tree School Online for the summer. Glenn and I are currently working with Tree School Coordinators from across the state as well as our Tree School Online partners to discuss plans for the program when we return in the fall.

The future is still uncertain and plans outside of Tree School Online are still hypothetical. We will continue to update you on our plans, and we hope that those of you who can attend, will continue to enjoy the virtual classes. Please feel free to reach out to me or Glenn if you have questions, suggestions, or need support.

While COVID forced us to design new ways of doing things, we look forward to the day that we can all get back together at Clackamas Community College and Hopkins Demonstration Forest for Tree School in person.

Glenn Ahrens

Clackamas Extension office: 503-655-8631

For more information on Tree School Online, visit Here you will find information on upcoming and past classes. We are also providing videos when available, resources from instructors, and continuing education credit request forms for qualifying classes.

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