Treeggered, stemmed from an urgent need to enkindle the general public towards safeguarding our primary forests through increased engagement and empathy building with the natural environment.

Perched at the unapparent crossroads of a city park, this is a participatory design project by Vrinda Mathur, an Industrial Design student at the Rhode Island School of Design.

Email vmathur@risd.edu for a conversation

Find the project here: 41°49'57.0"N 71°22'47.5"W


How might we increase public engagement towards safeguarding our primary forests?

Owing to a visible change in the climate, increasing forest fires, insect infestations, continued destruction of forests for housing projects and the fight for one natural resource over the other has lead to the degradation of a large number of trees. Many other factors including the plantation of invasive species for the mere value of beautification over sustenance are also affecting the forest ecosystem greatly.

Statistics courtesy of BBC/FAO


The Sculpture

Handcrafted using twigs and branches gathered from around the park, this piece was conceptualized to rebuild degraded tree stumps in an attempt to bring them to the forefront of the audiences’ conversations, thereby providing an opportunity to learn, contribute and collaborate towards land redevelopment efforts.


Each of the hexagons on the sculpture hold a piece of information, an anecdote from the trees themselves; From the harsh realities of a changing climate to the many urban stresses caused by us humans.

Plant a tree

The acorn in the sculpture is from a black oak tree, known scientifically as Quercus velutina which happens to be the same as the stump. Oak trees are very long lived (200 years+) and at that age, very tall and wide (60 – 100 feet tall and 4 – 6 feet in diameter). Choose your planting site with this in mind, as oaks are very difficult to move once they have become established. Oak trees do best in full sunlight, or partial shade. They can tolerate dry soil, and don’t need to be fed with fertilizer.
1) To plant the acorn, dig a hole that is an inch or so deeper than the length of the acorn’s root. 
2) Then gently hold the acorn at the top of the hole, with the root reaching down inside the hole. 
3) Add soil around the root, gradually filling the hole and lightly pressing the soil in, around the root.  Being careful not to break the root. 
4) Then give the acorn a good drink of water, slowly pouring about 2 cups of water over the acorn. This will help to settle the soil around the root, and keep it moist. 
5) When you have finished planting and watering, the acorn should sit just under the surface of the soil, or partially above it.


What are your fondest memories attached with trees? I would love to hear your stories and create an online directory of our relationship with nature. 

Upload your anecdotes here.

“I grew up in strong connection with trees, gathering their autumnal nut bounty, climbing their blooming branches in the spring and summer, watching their limbs against a winter sky. Although I spent much of my childhood in cities, these opportunities were available to me. I can't imagine life without trees around.” 

- Student