Woodland - Winter 2020 - 22

The Future: In-Person & Online
The ability to deliver online
programs during the pandemic
lockdown has been a real benefit
to Tree Farm Programs and the
Tree Farmers who participate
in them. " The people in these
programs are constantly trying
to move forward, so when
something stops them, they're
going to try another way to do it, "
said Obedzinski.
As with any technology, there
are pros and cons. Although the
online solution has been less
popular with older Tree Farmers,
who may not be as computer
literate, it has been a big success
with the younger generations
more accustomed to these
Online programs and meetings
are also very cost-effective. In
Arkansas, Johnson was able
to waive any fees because she
received donations that more than
covered the costs. In Washington,
which normally has to charge
about $70 per person because

of the cost of room rental and
a meal, organizers were able
to break even by asking for
participants' donations.
The online options have also
gained the Tree Farm Programs
a wider audience. People who
live in other parts of the state
or even other parts of the
country are benefiting from the
information presented in a Zoom
conference that they can attend.
In addition, recording and posting
the webinars on the Tree Farm
website and/or YouTube helps get
the messages out to more people.
Online registration using
Eventbrite (www.eventbrite.com)
provided another benefit for the
WTFP. The organization was able
to ask participants questions
that will help it improve the
way it publicizes future events
and select topics for future fall
Obedzinski said the biggest
drawback is the difficulty of
finding a way for participants to
communicate among themselves.

At a typical conference, an
attendee's question to a speaker
often results in other audience
members sharing their own
experiences and solutions. The
webinar format that WTFP used
didn't allow for those interactions,
although participants could type
in questions for the speaker via a
built-in chat function.
While the online experience
hasn't been perfect, in this year of
the pandemic it has helped both
the Arkansas and Washington
Tree Farm Programs maintain the
connections and relationships so
important to Tree Farmers and to
the programs themselves.
" Zoom is definitely going to be
a tool in our toolbox that we will
use for our Tree Farm program,
because it is a great way to
communicate with people across
the state, " said Ide.
" I miss my people; I like to see
them face-to-face, " said Johnson.
" But if I can't see them face-toface safely, this is the next best
thing. " 

Eight Tips for Virtual Meetings
1.	When choosing a platform (i.e. Zoom), think beyond your immediate needs. Will the platform
you're considering work with everything you do, from conferences and educational programs to
board meetings and training sessions? It's easiest to learn one video conferencing tool (at least
at first), and stick with it, so people get comfortable with online technology.
2.	Ask other organizations (forestry services, extension services, etc.) that have already held virtual
meetings for assistance. You may be able to benefit from their online meeting experience.
3.	Develop a plan for your webinar, then try to anticipate and eliminate ahead of time any problems
your speakers or your audience might encounter.
4.	Hold practice sessions with your event's speakers and hosts. They will feel better prepared and
you can solve any technical issues in advance.
5.	Be flexible, and be adaptable; there are bound to be glitches and unexpected problems,
especially in your first online efforts.
6.	Offer assistance ahead of time for participants unfamiliar with online meetings. That will
eliminate time wasted during the presentation because you're trying to get people into the
7.	 Afterward, ask for reviews from participants. What did they like? What could you do to improve
their online experience?
8.	Explore all the possibilities of virtual meetings. Would they work for board and/or committee
meetings? Could you offer additional training or educational opportunities for your state's Tree

22 WOODLAND * Winter 2020


Woodland - Winter 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Woodland - Winter 2020

Our Forests & Our Future
Cutthroat Brook Tree Farm & North Quabbin Land Trust Provide Accessible Trails
Forest Interactions
Outreach & Connections Through Virtual Events
Planting Seeds for the Future of Family Forestry
Woods, Wildlife and Warblers Program Obtain Funding for Expansion
Overcoming the Forester Capacity Challenge in the Western U.S.
2020 Policy Wins
Woodland - Winter 2020 - Intro
Woodland - Winter 2020 - cover1
Woodland - Winter 2020 - cover2
Woodland - Winter 2020 - 3
Woodland - Winter 2020 - Our Forests & Our Future
Woodland - Winter 2020 - 5
Woodland - Winter 2020 - Cutthroat Brook Tree Farm & North Quabbin Land Trust Provide Accessible Trails
Woodland - Winter 2020 - 7
Woodland - Winter 2020 - Forest Interactions
Woodland - Winter 2020 - 9
Woodland - Winter 2020 - 10
Woodland - Winter 2020 - 11
Woodland - Winter 2020 - 12
Woodland - Winter 2020 - 13
Woodland - Winter 2020 - 14
Woodland - Winter 2020 - 15
Woodland - Winter 2020 - 16
Woodland - Winter 2020 - 17
Woodland - Winter 2020 - Outreach & Connections Through Virtual Events
Woodland - Winter 2020 - 19
Woodland - Winter 2020 - 20
Woodland - Winter 2020 - 21
Woodland - Winter 2020 - 22
Woodland - Winter 2020 - 23
Woodland - Winter 2020 - Planting Seeds for the Future of Family Forestry
Woodland - Winter 2020 - 25
Woodland - Winter 2020 - 26
Woodland - Winter 2020 - 27
Woodland - Winter 2020 - 28
Woodland - Winter 2020 - Woods, Wildlife and Warblers Program Obtain Funding for Expansion
Woodland - Winter 2020 - 30
Woodland - Winter 2020 - 31
Woodland - Winter 2020 - 32
Woodland - Winter 2020 - 33
Woodland - Winter 2020 - Overcoming the Forester Capacity Challenge in the Western U.S.
Woodland - Winter 2020 - 35
Woodland - Winter 2020 - 2020 Policy Wins
Woodland - Winter 2020 - 37
Woodland - Winter 2020 - 38
Woodland - Winter 2020 - cover3
Woodland - Winter 2020 - cover4