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Sapling Stories: New Podcast Helps Community Connect with Nature

Image of spotify page featuring Sapling Stories by the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden's Learning by Leading Museum Education interns.

By Wyatt Garrett and Kelly Nishimura
Learning by LeadingMuseum Education Co-Coordinators (2019-2020)

How are you connecting with nature during the coronavirus pandemic?

While our access to nature has been limited these past few months, students in the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden’s Learning by Leading™ program have been hard at work exploring new ways to help our community stay connected to our outdoor environment.

One of these ways is through the production of Sapling Stories, the new UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden podcast. This podcast is a mini-series of three episodes that features the knowledge, stories, and voices of Learning by Leading™students, Arboretum and Public Garden partners and staff. Sapling Stories is produced and hosted by us, the Learning by Leading™ Museum Education student co-coordinators. Our goal with developing Sapling Stories is to connect with the community through a new medium, since our conventional avenues of communication are no longer available.

We hope to provide listeners with a means of getting to know the people of the Arboretum and Public Garden, specifically members of our Learning by Leading™ teams, a little bit better during this trying time. We hope the featured segments not only boost positivity, but also impact the wellbeing of our listeners.

Our Approach to Creating the Podcast

Once we established our objectives, we put a call out to the other Learning by Leading™ teams for segment ideas. After researching the best methods and practices for producing podcasts, we created a toolkit for other Learning by Leading™ teams to write and record their segments. We then compiled and edited the audio, recorded our audio and published the episodes. Like many of our community members, we found difficulties collaborating through a virtual platform, especially with a brand new project. Without in-person interactions with our peers, we learned that we needed to maintain more communication channels with our collaborators and build in extra time for each project step.

Thank you to everyone that helped us along the way! We hope that the community enjoys hearing from our fellow Learning by Leading™ students through this miniseries and learns more about the diversity of projects that students at the Arboretum and Public Garden work on. As the UC Davis community is sheltering in place across the world, we see this podcast as an opportunity for individuals to reminisce about their own experiences in the Arboretum and connect with nature.

Even though many of us have not been to the Arboretum in a number of months, we can still experience the calming and relaxing benefits that come from walks along Lake Spafford or picnics in the Peter J. Shields Oak Grove through this virtual medium.

You can find the three-episode miniseries streaming here.

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