How to Draw a Tree onsite

Welcome to How to Draw a Tree.

You have just been linked to four stories told with sound intended to accompany you as you walk along mapped routes at The Arboretum at the University of Guelph. You will need your cellphone AND headphones (and maybe bug spray, sunscreen, and water!). 

All walks start at the TRAILHEAD (the University of Guelph campus entrance of The Arboretum where there is a parking lot and a kiosk.).

To begin, select a sound walk and press play on the audio player. Each sound walk includes prompts and directions to follow, some with small pauses between the marked stops (if there are any!). Click on the map image to see where the walk will take you in The Arboretum. The distance of each walk is listed below the title. 

“Look at These Big F***ing Trees!”

By Jordie Lescard (2023)
.8km (physically accessible)

With humour, candour and a gentle heart, Jordie tells the story of his youth and his not-so-typical journey to higher education; he being the first in his family to attend university. The forest used to be a place Jordie went to escape life; now it is where he finds connection.

Trigger warning: talk of suicide (approx. time code: 44:10 to 49:00) and swearing. 

Download the walk. [right click]

The map for the sound walk Look at These Big F***ing Trees! By Jordie Lesgaard.

“Finding Home”

by Carey West (2023)

Carey’s walk explores The Arboretum and makes connections with the Ward neighbourhood in Guelph where she lives. All along the way, Carey is searching for belonging, her own. Her wanders in the woods are full of song until she meets ‘her tree,’ a quiet refuge. 

Trigger warning: this story discusses domestic violence. Please take care of yourself as you listen and feel free to pause or discontinue the audio walk if you need too.

(Original music by Carey West, soundtrack by Jeff Bird)  

Download the walk. [right click]

The map for the sound walk Finding Home by Carey West.


by Abhiraj Dadiyan (2023)

Abhiraj nearly extinguished his own light a few years ago; now he acts as a lamplighter for others. “Death has always given me her bed, but never her hand …”

His meandering, philosophical walk invites the listener to interact with nature in imaginative and playful ways.

Trigger warning: talk of suicide  throughout but always returning to hope and light.

(Original music by Jeff Bird. Editing support by JP Davidson) 

Download the walk. [right click]

The map for the sound walk Semi-Colon by Abhiraj Dadiyan.

“How to Draw a Tree” (prototype)

by Dawn Matheson (2022)

This walk is a little over 2 kilometres and should take a bit over an hour. This is not a fitness walk— in fact, it is the opposite.  I’m hoping you will take it SLOW…Inch along the forest floor like a millipede. Try to follow the pace of the footsteps in the soundtrack. It isn’t easy to go slow for some of us! But, you will be amazed at what you notice when you do! 

Download the walk. [right click]

The map for the sound walk How to Draw a Tree by Dawn Matheson.