Indiana University-Bloomington: The Woodland Campus
The Indiana University Bloomington (IUB) campus is often called “The Woodland Campus.” The name originally dates to the late Paul Weatherwax, an IU alumnus, faculty member, and botanist, who authored the original “Woodland Campus” publication highlighting the natural beauty of the trees and forests of the IUB campus. However, the dedication to natural beauty at IUB dates all the way back to the selection of the current location of the university by the Board of Trustees in 1884.
Since it’s inception, trees have been an important and appreciated part of the Indiana University campus experience. Former President and Chancellor Herman B. Wells is probably most responsible for making the IUB campus woodlands a focal part of the campus that endures.
In 2009 Sarah Mincey and Burney Fischer developed the IUB brochure “The Woodland Campus” to replace several long out of print versions of the brochure idea. This SPEA publication was a huge success and has been reprinted as well as provide on-line ever since. The Woodland Campus Tour (pages 13-20) was used by many students and visitors to appreciate the campus trees and learn how to identify common tree species.
Over time the Tour has become outdated so the publication was recently updated and published by the Indiana University Integrated Program in the Environment (second edition, 2018), supported by a grant from the Indiana University Office of the Bicentennial. It was authored by Senna Bryce Robeson and Sarah Mincey with contributions from Zoe Need.
In 2022, Jeff Ehman (biosketch), through Image Matters LLC, along with students Grace Pangburn, Kaitlyn Martin, Jules Wood, and especially Emily Faust, has created an enhanced digital version of the tour with navigational support. The eXperienceReality® (XR) Tour (Start Woodland Campus Tour) can be accessed through a web browser on any mobile device. Make sure to give permission for the application to access your phone’s location.
The tour is an opportunity to visit and learn about 23 trees, all located within walking distance of the Indiana Memorial Union building near the center of campus. The digital XR application directs users to each tree on the tour, with species including American beech, flowering dogwood, bur oak, and more. Many of these trees are estimated to be over a century old, with some predating the Civil War. Tour visitors can access a variety of detailed information using the application about each tree species, including background on history/lore, wildlife value, and expected habitat impacts due to climate change.