Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 52.57
Liaison Susan Kidd
Submission Date Feb. 15, 2012
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.0

Agnes Scott College
IN-2: Innovation 2

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Justine Schwartz
Sustainability Fellow
Sustainability
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A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:

In anticipation of the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Agnes Scott created a tree guide as a way to present our recently counted and categorized tree canopy. The guide loosely tied together a few of the college’s 2,000+ trees with institutional history and native species significance. The Agnes Scott Arboretum originated as a project to update the tree guide of 1995, which included a pamphlet with scientific names, pictures, and descriptions of 20 trees included on the walk. Instead the Arboretum became an interdisciplinary team project with a whole new way of looking at the college's tree canopy. There are 17 locations in the Arboretum, with more than 40 trees are represented in the descriptions. Some of the topics covered in the location interpretations include: the history of trees, trees as carbon sinks, the importance of trees to alumnae and of alumnae to the college, how trees improve the quality of water, trees used in medicine, the succession of trees in a forest, native trees, how trees instill a sense of mindfulness, and trees in industry. The Arboretum Project’s goal is to involve the campus and surrounding community by encouraging interaction with the trees and canopy. Instead of a backdrop, the trees are the main focus.
The Arboretum Team includes 5 faculty, 3 staff members, and 1 student. The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) has helped tremendously in the creation of the Arboretum. A student intern in the Office of Sustainability wrote and received a grant and fellowship from the NWF on the proposed project of the Arboretum. This fellowship is a yearly commitment and has allowed for the college to focus its efforts on the completion of this interdisciplinary project.
The Arboretum guide will be based on QR codes instead of a paper map or pamphlet. By using a website and a proxy that can be accessed by mobile devices, we are providing our audience with the ability to dynamically learn about the trees that shape our lives. Instead of using a pamphlet or map that will become stagnant, the websites will be continuously updated, and will act as a medium to help our community interact with nature and to rethink locations that they may pass by everyday. The website will house audio with snippets from past Alumnae, influential professors and staff, and donors to the Sustainability initiatives on campus. The audio will accompany descriptions of each individual location while providing a connection to trees’ the cultural, historical and ecological significance.
Along with the creation of the Arboretum, we have drafted Agnes Scott’s Tree Care Plan in order to apply for Tree Campus USA. This will also be uploaded onto our website so that the community is aware of our commitment to keep our tree canopy healthy, replenished and growing. We have set a goal to have a net gain of trees. Whenever a tree is removed, we will replace that tree and plant another one with similar projected canopy coverage on campus. We will now be establishing a permanent Tree Committee not only to make sure the Tree Care Plan is adhered to, but also to allow us to give the committee the responsibility of managing the future of the Arboretum project itself.


A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise:
The website URL where information about the innovation is available:

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