Students design sustainable birdhouses

Photo of sustainable birdhouse design from UC Davis Sustainable Design class student.

This sustainable birdhouse design titled, “Off the grid at flycatcher farmhouse” uses non-toxic paint and upcycled materials. This birdhouse will be on display with 37 other student creations on light poles throughout the Quad and around the arboretum’s Lake Spafford from Saturday, December 7 through the week of January 6, 2014.

As the result of a collaboration between the UC Davis Arboretum  and Public Garden and the UC Davis Department of Design, the arboretum and other parts of the Davis campus will become student galleries for Ann Savageau’s “Sustainable Design” class.

The students worked in two-person teams to create 38 birdhouses, using “upcycled” materials (saved from the landfill) and incorporating simulated features of sustainability, such as solar panels, rainwater catchment, and living roofs and walls. To identify the species of birds that would benefit from the birdhouses, the design students consulted with student organization Wild Campus who suggested their target “audience” would be western bluebirds (Sialia Mexicana), tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor), ash-throated flycatchers (Myiarchus cinerascens) and house wrens (Troglodytes aedon).

“Human encroachment is resulting in many animal species losing essential nesting and foraging sites,” Savageau wrote in her assignment. “Designers have a responsibility to use their talent and training to help restore the Earth’s ecosystem.”

TAKE A TOUR OF THE BIRDHOUSES!

Look for them on light poles throughout the Quad area and around Lake Spafford through the week of January 6, 2014 January 31, 2014 barring any extreme weather circumstances.

SEE A PHOTO GALLERY

(Excerpted from UC Davis Dateline article
“CLASS ART: Sustainable birdhouses and site-specific installations”)

Shovel Gateway sculpture opens!

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.

Photo from the Shovel Gateway sculpture dedication

City of Davis Mayor Joe Kravoza addresses the gathering at the “Shovel Gateway” sculpture dedication.

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.

SEE PHOTOS FROM THE EVENT

WHERE IS IT? CLICK HERE FOR A MAP

LEARN MORE about the Shovel Gateway sculpture project

LEARN MORE about the Downtown Davis Parkway Greening Project

 

Sneak Peek event recap

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.

Photo of Lucas Frerichs, city council member, speaking about the Downtown Davis Parkway Greening Project and the partnership between the City of Davis and UC Davis to complete the project.

Lucas Frerichs, city council member, speaking about the Downtown Davis Parkway Greening Project and the partnership between the City of Davis and UC Davis to complete the project.

Photo of Stacey Parker, GATEways horticulturist, giving a tour or the rain garden and improved stormwater management feature.

Stacey Parker, UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden GATEways horticulturist, points out the new rain garden feature of the Davis Commons Shopping Center parking lot. Guests learn how the feature will improve 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

FIND OUT MORE
Where is it? Map of site plan
What is it? Downtown Davis Parkway Greening Project posts
Who’s involved? List of Project Partners

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.

SEE A PHOTO GALLERY FROM THE EVENT

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