Pando is the name of the many-trunked tree system that inspired all this.
The largest organism on Earth, and one of the very oldest, is a quaking aspen that extends over 100 acres from a single root. It has a name, Pando.
Above ground, Pando appears to be a grove of individual trees, like any other grove. It was overlooked, for years. But underground the trees are connected by a single and vast root system. It is one tree. A one-tree-forest.
Pando is now under threat — from cattle grazing, an exploding deer and elk population (due to the elimination of predators), misplaced development, and the impending prospect of radical climate change.
Marvelous in its beauty, astounding in its age and extent, Pando is a fitting image of our common and threatened life together, and our ability to endure.
Utah students and educators across academic disciplines and organizations are working together to understand the wisdom of Pando, how it has survived for such an extraordinary period of time and grown to such massive size. High school and college students take trips to the Pando grove to monitor its growth and better understand its eco-system.
We are working with a network of collaborative efforts to support Pando, ranging from project-based learning initiatives to local research, conservation, and communications partnerships, including: Western Aspen Alliance, Ogden School District’s IB Program, and Stanford’s REDlab for Design Thinking.