Professor Evan Thomas Williams
Memorial Tree Walk at Lewis & Clark College
In 1990, David Craig ’90 and Eric Wold ’90, with assistance from the biology department and grounds supervisor, observed the birds that visit campus, conducted a comprehensive census of campus trees, and wrote A Natural History Guide to the Lewis & Clark College Campus. The guide included a section called the Tree Walk featuring 48 species of trees. The goal was to provide an interactive educational experience for the campus community and its visitors.
For a time, the Tree Walk fell into disrepair and no longer exists as a continuous path. However, in 2002, Clara Elias ‘04, began work to revitalize the Tree Walk under the supervision of Evan Williams, founder and chair of the environmental studies program. An environmental studies major, Elias inventoried the intact trees and signs on what remains of the Tree Walk and initiated plans to repair and reconstitute the walk—and to add a new twist: include native plants and trees that Meriwether Lewis and William Clark encountered on their trek west.
With the death of Professor Williams in spring 2004, the Class of 2004, led by Clara Elias, dedicated their senior gift to the tree walk. Building on the work of students before them, the Class of 2005, led by Anna Henry ‘05, Ashley McElheny ‘05, and Chris Ragsdale ‘05, developed the educational materials to accompany the restoration of the tree walk.
The Professor Evan T. Williams Memorial Tree Walk consists of 20 species of trees, including native trees that Meriwether Lewis and William Clark encountered on their journey west. Two sculptures are located along the walk: a Glenna Goodacre bronze sculpture, Sacagawea and Jean Baptiste, and a bronze sculpture of York: Terra Incognita, a bronze by Alison Saar.
This tree walk, dedicated on May 7, 2005, is named in honor of Professor Evan Thomas Williams: teacher, mentor, colleague, and friend.
Winter 2004 Chronicle “Tree Walk Honors Evan Williams”
Updated December 17, 2012