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School of Public and Environmental Affairs

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University Communications

Last modified: Thursday, July 9, 2009

SPEA brochure celebrates IU Bloomington's 'Woodland Campus'

July 9, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The woodland campus of Indiana University Bloomington has been celebrated for its natural beauty for more than a century. A new publication from the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs will help students and visitors better understand what makes the campus special.

Titled The Woodland Campus, the glossy, pocket-size brochure includes information on the history, management and future of IU Bloomington's quintessential urban forest, along with a "historic walking tour" focused on mature trees near the core of campus.

Authors are Sarah Mincey, a Ph.D. student in SPEA, and Burnell Fischer, a clinical professor in the school. Contributors include SPEA master's graduate Lauren Reker, doctoral student Rich Thurau, IU Landscape Architect Mia Williams, and Cynthia Mahigian Moorhead, SPEA manager of print and media services.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources Community & Urban Forestry Program and the U.S. Forest Service Northeastern Area supported production of the publication. SPEA is seeking sponsors to pay for printing more copies so they can be made readily available to visitors and new IU students.

The brochure is based on The Woodland Campus of Indiana University, written by eminent IU botanist Paul Weatherwax and initially published in 1966. It also credits longtime IU President and Chancellor Herman B Wells for preserving the wooded campus through times of growth and development. "To cut a tree unnecessarily," Wells once said, "has long been an act of treason against our heritage and the loyalty, love, and effort of our predecessors who have preserved it for us."

Wells created a culture of stewardship that has remained strong since his death in 2000. "It's really just become a norm that we have this woodland campus, it's going to be here a long time, and we intend to protect it," Mincey said.

The brochure portrays IU's woodland campus as a living laboratory for urban forest management research, including inventories of tree species, numbers and health; measurement of the urban forest canopy; and studies of the relationship between trees, buildings and society. It describes the hundreds of thousands of dollars of ecosystem services provided by the campus forest, including air quality improvement, carbon sequestration, energy savings from shade and stormwater interception.

The walking tour is an easy 90-minute stroll starting and ending at the Indiana Memorial Union, passing near Bryan House, past older campus buildings and through Dunn's Woods. It features 24 trees, including iconic specimens such as an American beech enclosed in a courtyard at the Chemistry Building, a rare yellowwood tree, and a massive burr oak that measures 54 inches in diameter.

A limited number of copies will be available at locations such as Bloomington and IU visitor centers and the IMU. For information on sponsoring printings, contact Randy Rogers at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, 812-855-6802 or