Newly-constructed and planted, the California Native Plant GATEway Garden fills with native plants, art, and community
Last winter and spring, our newly constructed California Native Plant GATEway Garden (working title), part of our Arts GATEway, teamed with student interns, loyal volunteers, hundreds of community members, as well as Arboretum and Public Garden staff who planted over 25,000 grasses, rushes, sedges, wildflowers, shrubs, and trees—all native to our lower Putah Creek region. It’s amazing to see how the plants have filled in and are thriving, not to mention the new connections created between the City of Davis and our campus!
It’s hard to believe the area used to be primarily a large patch of dirt and weeds! The grant funding and partnerships that came together for all this to happen are amazing and now we can begin to enjoy this new garden! (READ MORE about the background of this project here.)
As always, there’s more to be done. We’re working on completing a new set of interpretive signage, improving our directional signage, and launching more programs for this area. In the meantime, we thought you might like taking a behind-the-scenes look at some of the large and small “green” features of the garden. DOWNLOAD this OVERVIEW, then go for a stroll to see the features in person!
MORE PHOTO GALLERIES:
It’s open! On Sunday, October 27, 2013 community members, donors and stakeholders from the campus and city gathered to dedicate the “Shovel Gateway”—a sculpture created from over 400 community-donated shovels.
The program, featuring brief speeches from Marieke DeWaard from the Davis Civic Arts Commission, Kathleen Socolofsky from the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden, sculptor Chris Fennell, and City of Davis Mayor Joe Kravoza, highlighted the collaborative process necessary to guide the creation of this public art piece as well as the entire Downtown Davis Parkway Greening Project.
Afterward, attendees including shovel donors, interested community members, and students from Ann Savageau’s Sustainable Design class who assisted the artist with its creation, gathered under and around the sculpture to marvel at the distinctively-Davis landmark, locate their unique contribution, and speak to the artist.
On October 17, the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden hosted a California Native Plant Garden “Sneak Preview” for our Downtown Davis Parkway Greening Project partners, donors, and upper-level Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum members.
The event, hosted and generously catered by Whole Foods Market, included a behind-the-scenes tour highlighting the project’s improved connections between campus and downtown Davis as part of the City/Arts GATEway, how the landscape will connect people to the natural history of the region, serve as a learning laboratory for UC Davis students, and showcase sustainable solutions for stormwater management.
All the speakers featured in the brief program highlighted the positive partnership between the City of Davis and campus with Davis City Council Member Lucas Frerichs, UC Davis Vice Chancellor John Meyer, and Assistant Vice Chancellor and Arboretum and Public Garden Director Kathleen Socolofsky, all predicting that the town-gown collaboration on this project was “just the beginning.”
Also noted were the key players from the campus and city—Emily Griswold, director of the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden GATEways horticulture and teaching gardens, and Ann Burnette, city planner—who worked together see the vision of this university and community resource become a reality.
“Shovel Gateway” artist Chris Fennell charmed the audience when he disclosed his uncertainty that he would be supplied enough used shovels to complete the landmark entry feature, revealed his delight at the overwhelming response, and expressed his appreciation for the community’s interest in his work
Keep reading this blog for updates on this project and other UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden news. Sign-up to receive our e-newsletter here.