National Arbor Day, a day set aside to celebrate trees, is traditionally marked by tree giveaways and tree planting events. This year, the need for social distancing requires creative solutions -- which the Canal Forest Restoration Project at SUNY Oswego’s Rice Creek Field Station is providing via a free online webinar conference on Friday, April 24.

The webinar conference will highlight different perspectives on trees and forests. These perspectives include science, art, conservation, sustainability, human health and practical tree growing advice. Presenters come from as close as the city of Oswego and as far away as Arizona. 

This conference is offered as part of Earth Week at SUNY Oswego, hosted by the campus Sustainability Office. Wednesday, April 22, two days before the conference, marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

Participants can join one or more webinars, hosted live on the Canal Forest Restoration Project’s YouTube channel. A link to the channel is available on Rice Creek’s homepage ( and will be posted to social media (such as @OzRiceCreek on Instagram). Recordings will be posted to the project’s YouTube channel immediately after each live session for those unable to join the live event.

The webinar lineup for the National Arbor Day conference includes:

  • 9 a.m.: Arbor Day kids program. Canal Forest Restoration Project interns and SUNY Oswego students Delaney Krasner and Piper Warren share fun STEM activities that kids can do at home.
  • 10 a.m.: Inaudible, invisible: The hidden language of trees. Graphic design student Cooper Uliano shares the secret, mysterious music of tree rings.
  • 11 a.m.: Trees and life: Touching on Forest Therapy and how trees can get us through difficult times. Wendy Perrone, a certified forest therapy guide, discusses the healing power of trees for mental and physical well-being.
  • Noon: The American Chestnut Research and Restoration Project at ESF. Hear from three members of the American Chestnut Project at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry working to bring a blight-resistant American chestnut back to the forests of North America. Presenters include Andrew Newhouse, Linda McGuigan and Allison Oakes. 
  • 1 p.m.: The Canal Forest Restoration Project at SUNY Oswego’s Rice Creek Field Station. An introduction to the Canal Forest Restoration Project, the history and ecology of the focal species, and how everybody can help trees and forests. 
  • 3 p.m.: How to grow trees from seeds. Tips and tricks from Steven Frost and Kristen Haynes. Frost will also share how he turned his passion for growing trees into an annual community tree giveaway at the South Seneca School District.
  • 4 p.m.: An old white oak. How might one know? This presentation on tree ring science and one dendrologist’s link to the Canal Forest Restoration Project will be presented by Rick Churchill.

SUNY Oswego’s Rice Creek Field Station is dedicated to being a living laboratory for the advancement of knowledge through ecological research, education, and stewardship of the natural world. In 2019, Rice Creek partnered with the Canal Forest Restoration Project to grow and distribute native trees that were heavily logged to support New York’s canal industry, including white oak, swamp white oak and white pine, restoring these trees to the region.

Additional details about the webinar, the Canal Forest Restoration Project and how to support the project can be found on Rice Creek Field Station’s website,