UBC Undergraduate Research

UBC Point Grey Campus Cultural and Heritage Tree Inventory Miao, Alice; Kim, Amy; Janik, Anais; Bishop, Sarah; Borschneck, Shenae; Hergott, Tyler


In alignment with the university’s Heritage Conservation policy and the Urban Forest Management Plan, UBC Social Ecological Economic Development Studies (SEEDS) has entered into a partnership with Campus+Community Planning (C+CP) and the Faculty of Forestry to seek innovative and engaging plans to protect and preserve on-campus forests and tress. The university is particularly concerned with capturing the intangible cultural and heritage values of on-campus trees. In light of the initiative by SEEDS, C+CP and the Faculty of Forestry, this report first discusses the importance of cultural and heritage trees from both a cultural/social and environmental perspective. Although the main objective of this project aims to develop a comprehensive inventory protocol for cultural and heritage trees, this report recognizes that cultural and heritage trees play an important role in forming an iconic landscape. Therefore, five heritage landscapes are identified through expert recommendations. The identified heritage landscapes include the Main Library, the Old Arboretum, Main Mall, the sunken plaza by the Frederic Lasserre building and the Buchanan West Courtyard. The relationship between heritage trees and other landscape features are examined accordingly. The protection of individual trees with cultural and heritage status is the first step in protecting heritage landscapes as it would often take decades to regrow any trees removed from these landscapes. Thus, a public nomination procedure and heritage tree inventory protocol are developed to better understand current heritage tree status on campus. Public engagement is the corner stone of successful on-campus cultural and heritage tree protection. Seven public engagement strategies are recommended in this report. These ideas targeting different age groups include Scavenger Hunter, Art Contest and Show, Text/Email this Tree program, QR Codes or Geocaching, “Name this Tree” contest and Heritage Tree Walks, and should be organized in a week-long event, UBC Tree week. Finally, the report examined how heritage trees can help to combat climate change. Long lived trees record the history of a changing landscape and tell the story of a community (Chen & Hua, 2015). Communities take pride in their culturally significant trees, and culturally significant trees in turn inspire community members’ imaginations and tie everyone together (Chen & Hua, 2015). As UBC students, we are so proud of our green campus. Thus, it is our sincere hope that this report will make a major impact on preserving invaluable cultural and heritage trees that define the history and shape the identity of UBC. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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