H2Oaks? Campus trees get their own Camelbacks

Photo of Willie Hernandez, groundskeeper with the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden, filling tree water bag called a "SaplingSoaker." This bags provide our smaller campus trees with a slow release of water which helps prevent water run-off while allowing the trees targeted protection from the drought.

Willie Hernandez, groundskeeper with the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden’s grounds and landscape services team, fills  a slow-release watering bag called a “SaplingSoaker”  from a campus water truck. These bags provide our smaller campus trees with targeted protection from the drought while helping prevent run-off and water loss due to evaporation.

We take our campus trees seriously. They are valuable both environmentally and aesthetically, but they’re at risk because we’re dialing down the irrigation on the lawn around them. To avoid this conundrum teams from the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden’s grounds and landscape services team have started irrigating our younger trees with slow-release watering bags—a fancy description for those big green zippered sacks starting to appear at the base of young trees throughout campus.

Cary Avery, associate director of UC Davis grounds and landscape services, ordered about 240 of these bags and plans to reuse and rotate them throughout campus in an effort to get our trees through the summer while trying to save more water.

“We can’t rely on our sprinkler systems anymore to water our trees, especially since we’re cutting back watering our lawns even more dramatically than last year,” says Avery. “Instead, on young trees—those with trunks about 5 inches or less in diameter—we’re using SaplingSoakers and filling them up manually using our water truck.

Holes in the bottom of the bag allow the water to release slowly, giving the soil around the tree a chance to receive a deep water saturation with every irrigation, explains Avery. That’s what trees need plus, with this method, we see little if any run-off, and don’t lose water due to evaporation.”

Matt Forrest, irrigation supervisor for UC Davis grounds and landscape services estimates that these bags will save an average of at least 1000 gallons of water a year per tree.

“The water savings comes from the fact that we don’t have to water the lawn just to get young trees established,” explains Forrest.

Avery and Forrest know a thing or two about saving water in landscapes. Their teams have already cut back the campus’s utility (landscape) water use by over 30%—well ahead of Governor Brown’s 25% reduction mandate.

 

 

2015 Pinkerton Prize winners announced

Photo of 2015 Pinkerton Prize award winners Alex Stubblefield and Kiely Doherty.

2015 Pinkerton Prize award winners Alex Stubblefield (front left) and Kiely Doherty (front, second from left) pose with endowment creators Deb Pinkerton (back left), Bret Hewitt (back middle), and their daughter Claire Hewitt.
UC Davis Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer (right) joins in congratulating these students on their leadership roles and prize.

We are delighted to honor Alex Stubblefield and Keily Doherty, two remarkable student leaders, with this year’s Pinkerton Prize Endowment for Outstanding Student Contributions (see below for more information)Both women have been with the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden for three years and positively led their teams in creating a wide array of public education programs.

Alex Stubblefield
After two years as an Arboretum Ambassador, Alex served as the first student coordinator of the brand new Arboretum GATEways Outreach Program in 2015. Gifted at engaging visitors of all ages and passionate about sustainabilty, Alex led a team of students and volunteers in creating weekend offerings of eco-friendly, hands-on activities for casual visitors called Nature Discovery Days. Alex is a sustainable agriculture and food systems major.

Kiely Doherty
After joining the Arboretum Ambassador environmental leadership internship in 2012, Kiely served as co-coordinator of the program from 2014-15. As a leader, Kiely inspired great enthusiasm, cooperation, and innovation among her team as they developed a broad array of public programs. Kiely is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in environmental science and management.

Congratulations Alex and Keily!

The Pinkerton Prize Endowment for Outstanding Student Contributions was created by Deborah Pinkerton (seen above), who worked as a student employee at the UC Davis Arboretum environmental education from 1979 to 1985. She and her husband, Bret Hewitt, continue to add to this endowment in support of the exceptional students at the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden.

Staff leaders honored with diversity and Principles of Community award

Two staff leaders from the Arboretum and Public Garden were honored on May 14, 2015 for their outstanding achievement in furthering equal opportunity and diversity objectives within the UC Davis community. The Soaring to New Heights Awards celebrate leaders whose work epitomizes the UC Davis Principles of Community.

Photo of Cary Avery, Associate Director of Grounds and Landscape Services with the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden.

Cary Avery, Associate Director of Grounds and Landscape Services with the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden.

Cary Avery, Associate Director for our Grounds and Landscape Services division, received a Disability Awareness Award for his efforts to accommodate employees with injuries or disabilities. After working with Cary on multiple occasions, Fredna Karnegas manager from UC Davis Disability Management Services, nominated him for his willingness to make adjustments on behalf of his employees so they could remain in jobs they enjoyed. Cary is a 27-year-long employee at UC Davis who is widely recognized on campus as an exceptional supervisor and mentor.

Elaine Fingerett, Academic Coordinator, received an Individual Award for creating an inclusive, welcoming campus environment through the UC Davis GATEways Initiative’s free public programs. These programs draw thousands of non-traditional learners to campus where they can engage with the rich academic resources of UC Davis while celebrating the nature and culture of Arboretum collections and learning landscapes.

Photo of Elaine Fingerett, Academic Coordinator for the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden.

Elaine Fingerett, Academic Coordinator for the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden.

Beyond academic partnerships, Elaine also supervises 12 student interns, the Arboretum Ambassadors, through our Learning by Leading Initiative. She trains students in leadership, multiculturalism, and environmental education, and mentors them to develop team-based projects that celebrate the geographical and cultural diversity of the plant collections. Elaine’s tireless work ethic and passion have resulted in a legacy of unique educational offerings that inspire and invite future generations of learners to connect with UC Davis.

Congratulations to Cary and Elaine on these well-deserved honors!

 

Training your roses to be more drought tolerant

Photo of roses that will be for sale at the Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden spring clearance sale.

Thanks to extra inventory from the California Center for Urban Horiculture’s “Rose Weekend,” we’ll have great prices and plenty of inventory at our upcoming clearance sale.

Many of the roses that were featured at the California Center for Urban Horticulture’s “Rose Weekend” event will be on sale at our  plant sale clearance event Saturday, May 16th from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Roses will be priced at one for $16 and two for $25 plus an additional 20% off for non-members or 30% off for members of the Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden. LEARN MORE about becoming a member.

Taylor Lewis, nursery manager for the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden, suggests that it is possible to train your roses to be more drought tolerant. His experience with roses and similar types of perennials and shrubs is that taking the time to keep them pruned back during their first summer pays dividends in water savings in the long term.

Photo of Rosa 'Ausdecorum', Darcy Bussell

Rosa ‘Ausdecorum’, Darcy Bussell

“Obviously you want roses from your rose bush, but if you want it to get used to receiving less water while it gets established, keep it pruned back this summer,” explains Lewis. “That will signal the roots to expand and explore the soil. Then, when you do water it, water it slowly and deeply. You’ll thank me later!”

To find out what plants, including these roses, we’ll have at this sale, check out our inventory. LEARN MORE.

 

Arboretum Ambassadors receive gold level service award

 

Meet our award-winning Arboretum Ambassadors! From left to right: Sukhi Brar, Alex Stubblefield, Leigh Hiura, Kiely Doherty, Caycey Bui, Carmen Godinez, Francisco Zorrilla, Aleko Xides, and Lauren Bradt. (Not pictured: Bryce Anable.)

Meet our award-winning Arboretum Ambassadors! From left to right: Sukhi Brar, Alex Stubblefield, Leigh Hiura, Kiely Doherty, Caycey Bui, Carmen Godinez, Francisco Zorrilla, Aleko Xides, and Lauren Bradt. (Not pictured: Jonathan Su.)

On May 7, 2015, the UC Davis Arboretum Ambassadors won a gold level–Community Service Award from the UC Davis Community Service Resource Center and a silver level–President’s Volunteer Service Award from President Barack Obama.

Arboretum Ambassadors, our environmental leadership interns, have provided accessible, free educational outreach programs to the public and K-12 audiences since 2008. Working as a team they design participatory learning experiences that engage the broader community in the Arboretum and improve environmental awareness. They lead community service programs, help with many large-scale planting days and plant sale fundraisers, and produce a wide variety of educational events that typically attract 50-100 participants each. Their work invites many non-traditional learners and families to campus to enjoy high-quality, inspirational educational experiences.

Beyond their positive contributions both inside and outside campus, the Ambassadors have a unique team structure that celebrates leadership and creativity. Each student commits for a year-long internship with professional leadershipo training in ecology, event planning, fundraising, and educational program design. Two co-coordinators are selected each year from the previous year’s team and many students stay for consecutive years. This peer-led approach utilizes experiential learning and leadership training to build 21st century, employable skills. By the end of the year, they are a family and upon graduation, they receive networking and mentorship resources from Ambassador alumni who have gone on to pursue careers in the sciences, arts, and education.

Where are the bees and the butterflies?

Photo of pipevine swallowtail on salvia.On May 11, 2015, Ellen Zagory, director of public horticulture for the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden, was featured along with Dr. Eric Mussen, internationally known bee expert and Extension apiculturist at UC Davis, in a radio interview on KALW in San Francisco.

The conversation, which included multiple calls from their audience members, covered efforts to restore pollinator habitats, and how the decline of bees and butterflies affects our food supply and landscapes.

LISTEN AND LEARN MORE

 

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