Letter of Intent
Estimated Amount to be requested from the CSF: 
Letter of Intent: 

Dear Campus Sustainability Fund Committee Members,

During the past year, the historic Brockman Memorial Tree Tour, a campus tour of significant trees meant to promote interaction with the Universities green spaces and increase appreciation of said resources, has been undergoing a redesign process. The University of Washington has over 480 different species on the grounds, a valuable and generally unknown resource for our student body. The current renovation of the tour has already increased accessibility of the tour with a new updated website, reviewed the original trees to determine whether any specimens are missing, and submitted intent to lead guided tours during this year’s Dawg Daze Event as a means of increasing awareness about the tour. All this has been done with the intent of allowing greater access and education value of the campus grounds for students, professors and faculty, and the general public.

Our purpose for applying for a CSF Mini-Grant is to obtain the funds necessary to purchase high quality Arboretum Labels for each of the 80 trees on the tour, as well as a small amount of funds to create new signage at the starting point of the tour, the Anderson Hall Bus Shelter. Previous students working on the tour have included laminated tree labels, however these are difficult to read and the vast majority break down within a few years, making them unreadable and creating a source of litter. Our intention is to utilize high quality professional aluminum labels which attach via a wire or small nails to each tree. The labels will include the name of the tree, “Brockman Memorial Tree Tour”, and a QR code linking to the new tour website (which contains in depth information about each species on the tour).

In terms of project Criteria, we believe this project will meet the goals of CSF in the following ways:

Sustainable Impact:

The project leaders believe that this tour serves as a means of more intimately acquainting members of the University of Washington community with the natural world. Evidence suggests that opportunities to interact with and appreciate natural creations lead to a more sustainable mindset throughout life. It is our belief that these trees can provide students and others visiting the campus with meaningful outdoor experiences that will help them empathize more with efforts geared at protecting and restoring green spaces and human nature interactions. The new Brockman Tree Tour is also geared more towards cultural awareness than previous versions and includes local uses for each of the trees with a particular emphasis on indigenous usage for those trees native to the Pacific Northwest. The purchase of Arboretum tags would increase awareness of the tour, amplifying the afore mentioned effects, increasing awareness of native species and cultures, and providing greater access to more of the tour’s resources.

Leadership and Student Involvement:

The Brockman Memorial Tree Tour is overseen by the School of Environmental and Forestry Sciences SEFS. UW Grounds manages the landscape on which the tour is based. The work completed on this project has had the oversight of Dan Brown and Molly Hottle of SEFS, who have acted in an advising capacity. All of the work itself (the new design and construction of the updated tour) has been undertaken by Thuy Luu and Theodore Hoss, both students in the College of the Environment. Thuy Luu is a recent graduate but helped formulate the plan for labeling with tags while still enrolled and was instrumental in all the other completed components of the tour as well. Theodore Hoss is continuing the project on his own with the intention of concluding work by the end of December 2021.

Education, Outreach, and Behavior Change:

The newly revised Brockman Memorial Tour was created using input from a survey conducted prior to renovation work. This outreach provided the designers with an idea of what changes the student body would benefit most from. Additionally, the new tour was also designed with inputs from professors on how it may better serve as an educational resource for them in their classes. Thus, the new tour has added information which may allow it to be used as a physical resource for actual classes on campus. The tour website includes a survey and contact information whereby visitors to the tour may leave feedback and suggestions. As well as the outreach incorporated into this feedback survey and the original sent out prior to renovation, the tour designers’ intent to increase awareness of the tour via outreach at this year’s DAWG DAZE event with an in person guided tour event as well as through signage and possible display in the UW libraries. In addition to the education aspect achieved by designing the tour to appeal to professors as a class resource, the newly designed tour provides far more identification feature information and in-depth historical information for most of the trees on the tour. The proposed inclusion of tags on each tree would make each readily identifiable and allow a passerby to become aware of the tour when they might otherwise not notice it.

Feasibility and Accountability:

The majority of the renovation on this project has already been completed and the purchase and affixing of Arboretum tags is one of the few major tasks remaining to undertake. Contact with the most reasonably priced tag company has already been established, as has the discussion with a department budget advisor. The purchasing of tags will follow approval of this mini-grant and the tags will be affixed by Theodore Hoss with oversight by UW Grounds, as task which is estimated to take 2 to 4 hours which will be extremely feasible. Theodore Hoss will continue to work with all parties involved to ensure the work continues smoothly. The tags are designed to last long term; however, a plan is currently being compiled as part of this project to establish who within SEFS will have continued oversight on the project once Theodore Hoss is graduated. Once we hear back on whether we have been approved on this application we expect about a 3-week period after ordering the tags for them to be delivered. After this point affixing the tags can be completed in one day. The price of tags is expected to be about $845, with the required wire and nails for affixing them an additional $30. We also intend to create new signage at the tour initiation site which we expect to cost about $50.

Primary contact for this project is Theodore Hoss, who can be reached at tdhoss@uw.edu or at (661) 494-9585. Secondary contact is Molly Hottle, who may be reached at mehottle@uw.edu.

We hope you will consider funding this project and increasing our community’s ability to engage with the green spaces on campus, we appreciate your time on considering this proposal and look forward to your response.


Theodore Hoss
Environmental Science and Terrestrial Resource Management and Biology
University of Washington

Contact Information
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Theodore Hoss
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