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Students tag trees, raise Earth Day awareness

Mia Groff
Mia Groff, student intern in the Arboretum and Public Garden’s Learning by Leading Museum Education program, ties a tree tag around a heritage cork oak tree. This tag, one of 50 displayed around campus, helps the public understand the importance of trees.

by Maya Makker

In celebration of Earth Day on April 22, interns participating in the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden’s Learning by Leading Museum Education program will be tying large tags around 50 trees throughout campus and the Arboretum.

“We want to remind and further educate our community about the importance of trees,” says Mia Groff museum education intern. “Trees often fade into the background on our daily walks, bike rides and drives, but we want to give them a spotlight! We want to remind and further educate our community about the importance of trees.”

The students got the idea from a similar project at the Morton Arboretum in Illinois. Then they developed their own designs and incorporated information specific to UC Davis after collaborating with multiple participants including campus arborists, Tree Davis and the City of Davis, which plans to adopt the same tree tag program in town.

“We are thrilled with the leadership role our students have taken with this project,” says Kathleen Socolofsky, assistant vice chancellor and director of the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden. “They are taking the time to highlight one of the most important features of our campus environment and sharing their work with the community for even larger impact.”

Tree tag designThe tags will be installed along a path starting at the Quad and continuing east through the Arboretum, ending in the Arboretum GATEway Garden (near Downtown Davis). Some tags will offer tips on tree care and others will quantify the ecosystem benefits that trees provide our campus. The students hope people will follow their tree tag path and develop a greater understanding of how trees add value to our community.

Groff emphasized her desire to support the trees that make UC Davis such an iconic campus by saying, “Trees provide us with so much and it is so important that we give back to them. I think that these tags will provide us a way to honor the trees.”

Once installed on campus, Groff and her fellow team members, Kaila Mattera and Taylor Zhou, will work with the City of Davis to install the tags throughout town.

On the impact of the tags, Mattera noted, “It is important to recognize how integral the environment is in our lives. Trees are as much a part of the community as the students, faculty or staff. The tags help showcase our interdependent relationship with trees on campus and in the greater community.”

Read more about the tree tags coming to the City of Davis in May!

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