Bringing Nature into the Library

Indoor Nature: A Library Wellbeing Initiative

What are we doing?

Bringing nature indoors through potted plants and images of trees.

What do we need from you?

  1. Complete a short feedback survey on this initiative. Survey open through summer 2022.
    1. Plants and prints are throughout the first and second floors of the library – search for them while moving through the library, or view the Indoor Nature Library Map (pdf).
    2. The chance to win a plant for survey completion closed on March 31. See Preliminary Survey Results (pdf).
  2. Vote for photos of trees through a display on the main floor of the library. The top 10 will be printed on canvas and displayed throughout low-light areas of the library. — Activity completed in March 2022

Why are we doing this?

By bringing potted plants and vibrant images of trees inside the Okanagan Library, we will provide indoor exposure to nature, relying on an established health promotion strategy with demonstrated positive impacts on physiological and psychological health.¹

The Okanagan Library was renovated in 2018 and continued efforts are underway to improve inclusivity, facilitate a variety of quality study spaces, and determine creative ways to support student academic success.

By adding potted plants to areas with natural light and images of trees to internal areas of the building, indoor exposure to nature will enhance local environmental satisfaction.² An increasing body of research focused on direct benefits of indoor nature exposure to students in a campus environment.³

How does this project support UBC Wellbeing?

This project directly supports the Okanagan Charter by utilizing health promotion evidence to improve the campus environment by enhancing learning spaces. It also addressed multiple categories of the Wellbeing Strategic Framework including the built and natural environment and mental health and wellbeing. This project creates intersection in these priority areas by altering the indoor environment by relying on evidence that the following health criteria can be positively impacted by either potted plants, images of nature (specifically trees), or both: mood, brain activity, cognition, temperature, stress, perceived attractiveness, general health, pain tolerance, restorativeness.¹

Learn About the plants

Potted snake plant

Dracaena trifasciata (Snake Plant)

potted monstera deliciosa plant

Monstera Deliciosa (Swiss cheese plant)

potted zz plant

Zamioculcas (ZZ plant)

Learn about the Tree Prints

Type of tree: Jacaranda mimosifolia

Title: Jacaranda
Creator: Ian Sanderson
Tree: Jacaranda mimosifolia
https://flic.kr/p/AfwrM8

Title of photo: Milky Way between Ponderosa Pines

Title: Milky Way between Ponderosa Pines
Creator: Ed Suominen
Tree: Ponderosa Pine
https://flic.kr/p/fH5Xat

Title of photo: Plum Blossom

Title: Plum Blossom
Creator: Patrick Vierthaler
Tree: Plum/Cherry blossom (Prunus mume)
https://flic.kr/p/SbQa6f

Type of tree: Bodhi Tree

Title: Bodhi Tree
Creator: pixelarity
Tree: Bodhi Tree
https://flic.kr/p/7DrvZC

Type of tree: Jacaranda mimosifolia

Title: jacaranda
Flickr Creator: sharin
Tree: Jacaranda mimosifolia
https://flic.kr/p/bfWoeB

Type of tree: Magnolia

Title: First Magnolias
Creator: cahadikin
Tree: Magnolia
https://flic.kr/p/e51XCV

Type of tree: Bamboo

Title: Bamboo Forest, Kyoto, Japan
Creator: Lenny K Photography
Tree: Bamboo
https://flic.kr/p/DFXwUA

Type of tree: Douglas Fir and Cedar

Title: Sunset in the Kootenays (Rossland, BC)
Creator: Roman Rodyakin
Tree: Douglas Fir and Cedar
https://flic.kr/p/j81TAq

Type of tree: Ponderosa Pine

Title: TK 287
Creator: Ty Korte
Tree: Ponderosa Pine
https://flic.kr/p/Fuyfvp

Type of tree: Japanese Maple

Title: Branch of Japanese Maple Tree
Creator: Stanley Zimny
Tree: Japanese Maple
https://flic.kr/p/2dNWjbX

Acknowledgement

This project is made possible by funding from the UBC Wellbeing Strategic Initiative Fund.

Works Cited

¹Mcsweeney, J., Rainham, D., Johnson, S. A., Sherry, S. B., & Singleton, J. (2015). Indoor nature exposure (INE): A health-promotion framework. Health Promotion International, 30(1), 126-139. https://doi.org/10.1093/heapro/dau081

²Dopko, R. L., Zelenski, J. M., & Nisbet, E.   K. (2014). Nature salience increases judgments of environmental satisfaction. Ecopsychology, 6(4), 207-217. https://doi.org/10.1089/eco.2014.0042

³van den Bogerd, N., Dijkstra, S. C., Seidell, J. C., & Maas, J. (2018). Greenery in the university environment: Students’ preferences and perceived restoration likelihood.PLOS One, 13(2): e0192429 https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0192429