While many of us spend a lot of time walking around campus on our way to class, work or otherwise, how many of us truly stop and appreciate the rich natural history which populates our campus?
On Saturday November 15th, I took part in the UBC Arboretum Walk, hosted by the Beaty Bidoversity Museum as part of their “Campus Walk” series. Through this unique event, I gained an incredible amount of knowledge about UBC’s history, biodiversity and the fun stories behind some of UBC’s most striking trees!
Held on a sunny Saturday morning, the walk was led by Shona Ellis, the Associate Head of Biology at UBC and a Professor of Botany at the university. With decades of experience living and working on UBC campus, Ellis was a fantastic tour guide, who kept our intimate group engaged (and laughing!) throughout the morning.
Exploring on a route that extended from the Beaty Museum and ended at the historic “Old Arboretum” on UBC’s campus, our group was able to learn an immense amount about how biodiversity has been maintained on campus throughout the last century, as well as get a snap-shot of how the campus has grown and changed over the years. In addition, we had the opportunity to take a step back and really look and learn about at the amazing trees found on our campus, which I know I easily must have walked by a hundred times during my time studying at UBC.
While I learned many, many facts about UBC’s living history on the Walk, here are some fun facts for you to keep an eye out for next time you are walking around campus. For example, I learned that many of the trees on campus have informational plate attached to them which denotes their species, name and historical information. Some trees even have “QR” codes attached to them so that community members can learn more information about them via their phones! As well, you’ll find that most trees on campus have been planted by species, so that certain areas on campus have a distinct biodiversity!
-Written and prepared by Ian Schultz, UBCevents Communications Assistant