Posted on 9/28/15
Over the past few years a small piece of our campus quietly evolved from an underutilized area to a rustic, inviting, and educational showcase featuring the diverse research and teaching programs of the UC Davis Department of Animal Science. (FIND IT on the CAMPUS MAP.)
The newly completed UC Davis Animal Science GATEway Garden—the result of a collaboration between the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences and the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden—was designed by landscape architecture student and intern in the Arboretum and Public Garden’s Learning by Leading program John Gainey, who, along with Animal Science’s farm crew, UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden staff, and a collection of volunteers across our campus and community, completed the project in spring 2015.
Visitors can find this lovely and inviting space just north of the Arboretum’s Southwest U.S./Mexican collection where new pathways lead directly to a welcoming visitor gate lined with the steel animal silhouettes flanking the University of California’s heritage livestock brand. Beyond the gate, guests are welcomed to linger at the horse viewing area, a variety of outdoor seating and study spaces, and learn from a series of integrated interpretive signs that highlight Animal Science research and programs.
The space makes efficient use of campus resources by incorporating redwood planks from campus-grown trees that needed to be removed for health or safety reasons and by up-cycling equipment from UC Davis’ rich agricultural history into creative seating areas.
Funding for this garden would not be possible without support from the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, a Stuart Foundation grant, a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services which helped fund irrigation improvements to the nearby Southwest U.S. collection.
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In early April this year, staff and volunteers from UC Davis Animal Science and the Arboretum and Public Garden came together to install the landscape, featuring a large number of California natives, in this unique garden. For a photographic history complete with before and after photos of this landscape CHECK OUT OUR PHOTO GALLERY HERE.
We are excited and proud that the plants are thriving this spring, and we thought you’d like to take a look! Check out the brief video below. For more information about the transformation of this space READ MORE here.
Animal Science GATEway Garden: June 2013 from Katie Ferguson Hetrick on Vimeo.
Have you seen the UC Davis Animal Science GATEway Garden? Be sure to stop by when you get a chance to check out the newly-planted beds and to enjoy the peaceful surroundings, that is, if the nearby donkey is not braying!
You may feel as though you are trespassing because there is a gate at the entrance, but it pushes right open to give visitors a closer glimpse of the animals, and, once the interpretive signage is installed, an educational look at the research being conducted here. Take note of the farm equipment re-purposed by creative Animal Science crew members; there’s a bench viewing area created using old wagon wheels, another seating area that makes a squeeze chute look inviting (see photo at the left), planters made from feeding troughs, and a picnic bench fashioned from a hay feeder.
Under the large valley oak at the center of the garden you will find a selection of California natives known to thrive in this tree’s shade. Large sandstone rocks brought in from the upper reaches of Putah Creek provide visual definition and serve to separate the planting areas within the raised beds. As the plants radiate out from the oak you’ll find a mix of selections native to the southwest and high-desert including a variety of grasses typically consumed by domesticated animals raised in these areas.
Notice the lack of landscaping west of the oak tree? That’s a placeholder for a large teaching deck yet to be installed.