The University of Utah Campus is a State Arboretum.
In 1930, Dr. Walter P. Cottam, co-founder of The Nature Conservancy and chairman of the Botany Department at the University of Utah, began using campus land for plant research. For more than 30 years, he evaluated plants to determine their adaptability to our region.
In 1961, the Utah State Legislature formally recognized Cottam’s impressive collection by designating the University's campus landscape as a State Arboretum. The original legislation mandated that the Arboretum "provide resources and facilities for cultivating a greater knowledge and public appreciation for the trees and plants around us, as well as those growing in remote sections of the country and world."
QR Code Feature
The Sustainable Campus Initiative Fund (SCIF) oversees competitive grants for student projects focused on sustainability education, environmental issues, energy efficiency, and more. SCIF’s mission is to provide funding for real-world projects that improve the U’s environmental quality and make the campus more sustainable.
In 2015, SCIF students partnered with Facilities Management to work on the grant project, “Discovering Our Campus Arboretum”.
This project was an effort to bring awareness to the University’s urban forest, these students updated the tree plaques on campus. The plaques now include a digitally accessible QR code.
The new plaques create a visual gateway to more information by connecting to a Tree Tour that people can experience both virtually and physically, via interactive maps.
The public can scan the QR code to learn more about the trees around Campus.