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.

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 View a map of plant locations.

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

Title of photo: Milky Way between Ponderosa Pines

Title: Milky Way between Ponderosa Pines
Creator: Ed Suominen
Tree: Ponderosa Pine

Title of photo: Plum Blossom

Title: Plum Blossom
Creator: Patrick Vierthaler
Tree: Plum/Cherry blossom (Prunus mume)

Type of tree: Bodhi Tree

Title: Bodhi Tree
Creator: pixelarity
Tree: Bodhi Tree

Type of tree: Jacaranda mimosifolia

Title: jacaranda
Flickr Creator: sharin
Tree: Jacaranda mimosifolia

Type of tree: Magnolia

Title: First Magnolias
Creator: cahadikin
Tree: Magnolia

Type of tree: Bamboo

Title: Bamboo Forest, Kyoto, Japan
Creator: Lenny K Photography
Tree: Bamboo

Type of tree: Douglas Fir and Cedar

Title: Sunset in the Kootenays (Rossland, BC)
Creator: Roman Rodyakin
Tree: Douglas Fir and Cedar

Type of tree: Ponderosa Pine

Title: TK 287
Creator: Ty Korte
Tree: Ponderosa Pine

Type of tree: Japanese Maple

Title: Branch of Japanese Maple Tree
Creator: Stanley Zimny
Tree: Japanese Maple


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

Note: This news story was updated in 2023 to reflect the established plant/photo program.

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.

²Dopko, R. L., Zelenski, J. M., & Nisbet, E.   K. (2014). Nature salience increases judgments of environmental satisfaction. Ecopsychology, 6(4), 207-217.

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