BETHANY, W.Va. – In honor of Earth Day, Bethany College will welcome the founder of the Old-Growth Forest Network for a lunchtime lecture on April 20.

Joan MaloofDr. Joan Maloof, a writer, ecologist, conservationist, and educator who has studied and worked with plants her entire life, will speak via Zoom from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Click here for the link.

Maloof has a bachelor’s degree in plant science, a master’s degree in environmental science, and a doctorate in ecology.

She is a professor emeritus at Salisbury University, where she taught biological sciences and environmental studies.

In August, her latest book, “Treepedia: A Brief Compendium of Arboreal Love,” will be released by Princeton University Press. The publisher describes the book as “an entertaining and fact-filled illustrated compendium of tree lore.”

In 2005, she published “Teaching the Trees,” which led her to establish the Old-Growth Forest Network to preserve the nation’s oldest forests.

The network aims to identify and protect one forest in each of the U.S. counties where forests could grow and relies on volunteers to nominate the forests.

The Old-Growth Forest Network includes more than 116 forests in 24 states.

In October 2019, Bethany College’s Parkinson Forest became the first site in West Virginia’s Northern Panhandle to be included in the network.

Margaret Parkinson deeded the forest to Bethany College in 1914 with a stipulation that it was to remain in its natural state.

The Parkinson Forest is accessible by the Bethany Trail System, which consists of five interconnected trails that feature a waterfall and an outdoor classroom.


Bethany College, founded in 1840, is the oldest private college in West Virginia. The Bethany experience focuses on academic excellence in the area of liberal arts and prepares students for a lifetime of work and a life of significance.