Students in David Taylor’s Biology 341: Field Botany lab are getting a chance to both learn to identify trees as well as to give back to the University Park neighborhood.
Trees provide an economic value for the neighborhood–reducing erosion and run-off, cooling streets and homes in the summer, and increasing property values. Recently Prof. Taylor contacted Portland Parks and Recreation about helping inventory trees in University Park. In exchange for collecting the data Parks and Rec. needed, Taylor was able to add more information to the survey, which the Park department will then process and crunch into useable data on the growth and distribution of mosses and other activity in the area.
Taylor notes that the experience has been good for students as well as the neighborhood. One resident asked the students to help him identify various trees he had in his backyard that he had always wondered about. Delighted that the students answered his questions, he responded by sending the students on their way with a basket of plums from one of his trees!