Group Project
Research Project
Mobile Platform

The Big Idea

Seedlings is a tree care app for kids & parents to learn how to take care of trees using Augmented Reality, instilling values of social responsibility early on in developmental years through a goal-based education platform.

Ah Ha Moment

Tree planting is a difficult call to action for many residents in Los Angeles. It is expensive, requires dedication for long-term care, expert knowledge, and calls for a basic level of social responsibility within each resident. The key then is to begin involvement at a young age through education, encouraging children to be the future caretakers of their city and increase their yearning to better their community.

Many low-income neighborhoods in L.A. County do not have enough shade. While American Forests recommends 40% tree canopy for healthy cities. LA county only has 18% tree coverage with historically redlined communities having much fewer green spaces and tree coverage than wealthy areas. The heat island effects worsen pre-existing conditions and health risks. Trees — from seed to the necessary 3-year maturity mark — are VERY costly to plant in urban areas, often costing several thousand dollars, and usually are performed by experts in the field. Nonprofits often face resource limitations including low staffing, tight budgets, lack of time & funding and the lack of tree donations.

How Might We...

- How might we incentivize and motivate people to care for trees in their local environment?

- How might we create an easy-to-use tool for non-experts to use and be involved in environmental work?

- How might we increase access to outdoor education for more kids in urban communities?

Research Interviews

- Subject Matter Experts: 3 interviews

- Los Angeles Residents from both high & low-income areas: 4 interviews

After conducting our research interviews, we used affinity mapping to consolidate our findings and search for key insights.

Pain Points:

- Lack of citizen education and natural resource literacy

- Lack of dedicated budget for tree maintenance

- Lack of shade in school environments

- Lack of beginner-friendly learning

- Lack of motivation and social responsibility

- Lack of outdoor living in urban environments

Key Insights:

1. People are more likely to take care of a beautiful neighborhood.

2. City infrastructure should prioritize trees over artificial shade.

3. People have stronger sense of social responsibility if their voices are heard.

4. Tools are not user friendly for those who are not environmental experts.

5. Education helps kids be exposed to nature.

The big idea is a tree care app for kids & parents to learn how to take care of trees using Augmented Reality.

The Seedlings App is divided into 3 main sections: Map, Scan & Awards.Each section plays a part in helping Amy achieve her goals of taking care of the trees around her at school, as well as giving her a sense of accomplishment through awards and new learnings.


Explore trees in your near vicinity and find out which trees need attending to. The map helps you navigate to the tree from where you are standing and plans out an ideal path for you to grab the tools you need before heading to the trees you want to take care of.


Using AR scanning technology, scan uses your smartphone camera to verify the tree you are taking care of as well as provide step-by-step instructions on each task to perform.


View the achievements you’ve made and your tree caretaking history. Collect unique and attractive awards, and level up to collect special prizes and learn even more about the trees you are caring for.


Urban Tree Planting
Environmental Cause
K-12 Education

Target Audience

K-12 Students in low-income urban areas


Los Angeles County

Time Setting
Near Future (now +5 years)

Isaac Tseng
Catherine Jia
Holen Yang
Jaemo Seong

Top Skills

User Research & Interview
Affinity Mapping
Paper Prototype Testing

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