The Evergreen State College
The Evergreen Canopy Walkway Project

The Evergreen State College is exploring the feasibility of building a forest canopy walkway on its campus. Envisioned as a universally-accessible system of canopy-level walkways linking existing campus structures with an arboreal seminar pod, The Evergreen Canopy Walkway will provide unique opportunities to view and understand the forest from root system to tree top.

Introduction Education Research Conservation Collaboration EcoAgro
Vision
Involvement
Initial Feasibility Study Walkway Images Links Participants List

As we move into a new millennium, perceptions are changing and expanding our understanding of the complex world of forest ecosystems.

Scientists and researchers the world over are now realizing the critical role played by forests, and especially forest canopies, in maintaining the diversity, resilience, and functioning of the ecosystems they inhabit.

In addition to providing habitat for birds, mammals and invertebrates, forests:

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misty treetops NEW PERSPECTIVES ON FORESTS
    Until recently,
    only kids climbed 
    trees.
scientists climbing tree
    Until recently,
    forests were mainly appreciated for their timber.
Olympic National Park

a class in the forest

EDUCATION:
The Evergreen Canopy Walkway will benefit not only the students, staff, and faculty at The Evergreen State College, but will also serve as an educational resource for K-12 schools and community groups. By maintaining public access and visitation opportunities, as well as creating avenues via information technology for "virtual" access, The Evergreen Canopy Walkway will promote active teaching and learning about the forest. An important message we will impart through this facility is that all forests, not just pristine wilderness areas, make significant contributions to the health and well-being of our planet.

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scientist and student in the canopy

RESEARCH:
The forest research community views the project as a means to enhance its ability to conduct long-term research on parts of the forest ecosystem which have traditionally been very difficult to access. Collaboration with the small but growing network of field stations and colleges with access facilities will ensure a growing body of knowledge in this critical field.

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a NW river valley

CONSERVATION:
The solid research conducted at The Evergreen Canopy Walkway will provide compelling reasons backed by scientific data to encourage conservation of our forests, and will also provide new insights on how best to establish and accomplish conservation goals. By allowing us to re-experience the forest with fresh perspectives derived from canopy and below-ground access, The Evergreen Canopy Walkway offers the potential to change attitudes and inspire stewardship of the forest and other aspects of the natural world.

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model of walkway system

COLLABORATION:
Early planning efforts for The Evergreen Canopy Walkway have already resulted in thoughtful dialogue among individuals representing a diverse range of forest interests. Representatives from youth groups, environmental advocacy groups, senior citizen organizations, the forest industry, government agencies, public schools and libraries, as well as Evergreen faculty and students, have voiced enthusiastic support in initial planning discussions about The Evergreen Canopy Walkway. Visions include public participation in faculty-led research projects, new interdisciplinary academic programming inspired by the facility, and student-led outreach projects that both teach, and learn from, the local community about the forest. Structural engineer Carroll Vogel has designed models of the walkway. His firm, Sahale, LLC, is located in Seattle, WA. For more information, visit www.sahale.com.

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ECO-AGRO-URBAN VISIONS:   New structures integrating architecture and nature
An interdisciplinary workshop to envision new urban models that integrate human settlement and economic production within preserved or rehabilitated natural ecosystems was held at the University of Hawaii at Manoa on March 4-6, 1999. The focus was on spatial and technical issues relating architecture, agriculture, economics, recreation, and the environmental sciences to both utopian city building and to immediately practicable prototype research and education structures built in close interaction with plants and natural systems. The workshop was co-sponsored by the Construction Process Innovation Laboratory at the University of Hawaii School of Architecture and the International Canopy Network.

For more information, contact co-convenors Peter Anderson (peterand@hawaii.edu) or Nalini Nadkarni (nadkarnn@evergreen.edu)

Click here for the Meeting Report.

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community members exploring the canopy

OPPORTUNITIES FOR INVOLVEMENT:
Planning for the proposed Evergreen Canopy Walkway is on-going. We are currently seeking funds to support a planning effort to determine the key audiences and primary uses of the facility, conduct feasibility studies to determine design and cost factors associated with construction and maintenance of the facility, and analyze current and potential funding resources for project implementation. If successful, these efforts would lead to construction occurring early in the new millennium.

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We welcome your interest, input, and questions.
For more information, please contact Faculty Member/ Project Director Nalini Nadkarni, Ph.D. (360) 866-6000 ext. 6621 or email at nadkarnn@evergreen.edu


 

link to evergreen's homepage The Evergreen State College is a national leader in innovative, multi-disciplinary education.  Situated on 1000 forested acres at the tip of South Puget Sound, the College offers undergraduate degrees in liberal arts and sciences, and graduate degrees in teaching, environmental studies, and public administration.  The College was established by the Washington State Legislature in 1967, and serves 4000 students annually.

 
Introduction Education Research Conservation Collaboration EcoAgro
Vision
Involvement

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  Initial Feasibility Study Walkway Images Links Participants List



webpage design and creation by a. woodruff/D. Franklin                          email: nadkarnn@evergreen.edu; canopy@evergreen.edu
last updated 11/05