2020 Service-Learning Projects

Research on Tree Walks to Reduce Stress

LC State professors Dr. Rhett Diessner and Dr. Rachelle Genthos, and their undergraduate research assistants studied the stress-relieving qualities of taking a 10-minute “tree walk” on campus. Participants were directed to stop four times along the walk to mindfully pay attention, with all their senses, to particular trees. The walk started at a dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides), then went to a giant linden/basswood (Tilia americana), next a tall elm (Ulmus americana), and ended with a large pair of sequoias (Sequoiadendron giganteum).
Results showed significant stress reduction for the tree walkers, compared to a non-walking control group. The benefits of stress reduction were the most substantial for the students who had the highest levels of stress at the beginning of the walk. The service-learning was most pronounced for the six student research assistants, and the 18 students in an advanced research methods class, who served as the guides on the walks.

Tree Inventory
The inventory of LC State campus trees started when the Arboretum Committee was founded in 2008. Each semester, students work to keep the tree inventory updated. During the Spring 2020 semester, all trees that had previously charted were confirmed by our LC Work Scholar, Ben Stowell. Trees that had been removed due to disease or damage we noted in the inventory.
Information on data included in the Tree Inventory section of the Application for Tree Campus Higher Education.

Past Service-Learning Projects

Learning Garden
The LC State Learning Garden and Outdoor Classroom serve the campus and the community by providing a creative and inspiring learning facility. The Learning Garden supports the LC State motto of “Connecting learning to life” by providing access to fresh, locally-grown foods, demonstrating environmental sustainability, practicing wellness techniques, and developing plant-based experimental educational opportunities on the LC State campus. In 2015, student scholar Doug Koch planted fruit trees in the garden. Today, the trees bear fruit and contribute to locally-grown foods.

Campus Tree Tours

As part of the Introduction to Geographic Information Science (GIS 271), several service-learning opportunities are available. One of those is an opportunity for students to create a tree tour. In April 2019, students completed tours featuring four or five favorite trees of people who care deeply about the campus urban forest.  The students completed tours for Todd Kilburn (co-Chair of the Arboretum Committee in 2019), Dr. Bill Manschreck (Arboretum Committee member and LC State Foundation), and Liz Martin (LC State Faculty). You can view the tree tours below.

If you are interested in learning more about creating a tree tour or volunteer opportunities, contact the Arboretum Committee.