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Westfield’s Tree Walk

What would happen if trees could talk? Scientific studies have proven that trees communicate when they are under stress or would like to share resources, but what if trees could really tell us about themselves? What might they say?

Thanks to the creative spark of our third grade teacher, Ms. Pat Lyons, students from Westfield Friends School’s third through sixth grades pondered that question and undertook the work of adopting, researching, conducting STEAM challenges, and tagging numerous tree species on their school campus. This project was funded in large part by a grant from the Friends Council on Education. The Westfield property is located on 8 ½ acres along Riverton Road in Cinnaminson and includes the Westfield Friends cemetery.

The Friends Council on Education funds student-centered projects that focus on the Quaker testimonies in Friends schools. Using queries from Quaker SPICES as underpinnings, Westfield’s “Science Buddy” teams learned about the community of trees on the school grounds and “adopted” specific trees for the purpose of investigating each tree’s origin, traits, and needs. With the guidance of Westfield Meeting members, field guides, and Ipad apps to help identify more than 60 tree species, students also designed their own horticultural tree tags. Tags include botanical information and a QR code to gain additional facts. These tags serve to enhance the student developed, self-guided educational Tree Walk on Westfield’s school grounds.

What’s unique about this tree walk? By accessing a QR code found on the tree’s horticultural tag, visitors can listen to a student as she or he speaks as the voice of their adoptive tree. Westfield Friends has been teaching about equality, peace, and stewardship of the environment since it opened its doors in 1788.

A tree walk visitor can use a QR scanner to read the QR code (as seen below) and listen to students assume the identity of a Sour Gum Tree, or they can listen and learn about the 60+ additional trees featured on the walk by visiting Westfield Friends School, located at 2201 Riverton Road in Cinnaminson, New Jersey. Additionally, a Westfield Tree Walk brochure can be downloaded from our school website, along with a listing of all tree species and their audio files at:


On Friday, May 26th, Ms. Lyons and several of her third grade students held a ribbon cutting ceremony prior to our school’s annual Field Day to officially open the Westfield Tree Walk.

The Tree Walk is open to the public, however we encourage visitors to stop by after school hours (after 3:30 p.m.) or on weekends when our students are not on campus. Or, if visiting during a school day, please stop in at the school’s main office to sign in and pick up a visitor’s pass.