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Tree Tour for Nutrition Class- plants with edible components

Last updated on December 20, 2022

For the first Plymouth State University Tree Tour focused on nutrition, we visited the: Gingko, Black Tupelo, Black locust, Linden (Tilia), American Chestnut, and Serviceberry.

As always, I asked the students to write down what was memorable, the comments are informative to see what resonates with students and sometimes the responses are entertaining. Excerpts:

Student #1

One student who kept a list of trees we visited, along with a note about each, embedded in the list the following statement:

“MaryAnn climbs rocks…”

(I guess this student found it surprising I climbed a rock wall to check out a Black locust tree at the top. I am happy with students knowing I will go to extreme measure to learn more about a tree. There are many Black locust saplings in this spot, bordering the President’s house, behind the Hartman Union Building, the give-away are the thorns, arranged on opposite sides of the stems.

Student #2

“…Gingko trees can live for thousands of years…”

Student #3

“The Gingko was alive with the dinosaurs and has many medicinal uses.”

Student #4

“Gingkos have many health benefits…”

Student #5

“One thing I will take away is the biodiversity, we are really lucky.”

Student #6

“I like that there are resourceful trees/plants all around us.

Student #7

“… 40% of [fresh] foods would disappear from grocery stores if we didn’t have pollinators.”

Student #8

“The landscape of your yard can affect your property’s value, such as planting different trees on different sides of the house.”

Student #9

“Black locust – you can eat the flower, not the leaf of tree… I didn’t realize how many different trees PSU has on campus. I also didn’t know that most of the trees have many different uses… I’m excited to tell my friends on campus.”

Student #10

“I didn’t know so many things were edible.”

Student #11

“I learned we have a Chestnut grove in town.”

Student #12

“I love learning about the basic medicinal properties of the trees on campus. The American Chestnut was a particular topic I found interesting. I was unaware of the ecological disaster until you spoke about it. More awareness needs to be raised for this vital tree.”

The students’ comments collectively indicate my intended learning objectives were accomplished- I want them to become more aware and curious about our campus and the many benefits and services our diverse trees provide. With each tree tour, I learn something new about trees and about interacting with students outdoors. I have acquired an expanded appreciation for our campus’ outdoor learning laboratory during Covid.

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