The Importance of Knowing a Name: Tree Identifications on Notre Dame’s Campus

The Importance of Knowing a Name: Tree Identifications on Notre Dame's Campus

Deirdre Kennedy

Kennedy SycamoreSycamore tree on Notre Dame's campus

I am studying the impact that knowing plant identifications and one’s natural surroundings has on one’s care of the environment. I will be looking into resources on environmental history, nature’s effect on health and the influence of language and naming to better understand the impact this has on one’s relationships with nature. Additionally, I will label trees around campus and create a virtual tree tour of Main Quad’s trees with the help of QR codes. The QR codes will contain a mix of information on the background of the tree species and the history of the tree on Notre Dame’s campus.

I believe this tree tour can lead to better engagement of Notre Dame students, staff, and visitors with their natural surroundings. The research essay portion of this project will provide a conceptual basis to be shared with others to show the importance of environmental education in raising sustainable leaders and developing strong relationships with nature.