Ellen Zagory, director of public horticulture for the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden, is featured in Davis Enterprise article dated May 13, 2015, Drought underscores the importance of native plants.
Here is an excerpt:
Hedgerow Farms, located outside of Winters, and the UC Davis Arboretum [and Public Garden] are two plant providers that have noticed changes in gardeners’ tastes as California enters a fourth year of drought.
Plant sales organized by the Friends of the Arboretum [and Public Garden] are drawing big crowds, said Ellen Zagory, director of public horticulture at the Arboretum [and Public Garden].
“We really highlight drought-tolerant plants and gardens,” Zagory said. “Now I get calls every day asking about these plants.”
Zagory explained that many native plants are well suited for drought conditions. Since the bulk of California is dry, native plants tend to adapt to less water, she said.
Native plants also benefit bees, Zagory said, so gardeners may want to help the pollinators that are in a crisis as well.
Thank you to everyone who gave to the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden during our region’s 24-hour Big Day of Giving on May 5th! Thanks to the generosity of current and new donors, members, volunteers, and our own staff, we raised $11,400 from 161 donors.
This one-day total combined with pro-rated incentive funds (donated from regional corporations and organizations via the Sacramento Region Community Foundation) should take us past our goal of $12,000 for the day. Big Day of Giving was not only historic for our organization, it was historic for the Sacramento region—529 participating non-profit organizations raised over 5.6 million dollars in one day!
The funds we raised will be used to support our GATEways public education programs including our Valley-wise gardening outreach and to grow our “Learning by Leading” initiative, which enables undergraduate students to develop innovative environmental and educational programs for underserved children and families.
Thank you again to the generosity of the donors listed below and to all of our loyal supporters who give in whichever way they can—with their time, creativity, words of encouragement, or donations. Together we are creating an exemplary place of beauty, learning, and environmental stewardship.
Anonymous Gifts (9)
Jacqueline and Jim Ames
Kent Bradford and Barbara Zadra
Dianna and Paul Brink
Bob and Margie DuSell
Carl and Karen Eilers
Lucas and Stacie Frerichs
Cliff and Carol Gravem
Phillip Gray, Jr.
Katie and Eric Hetrick
Sally and Michael Hirst
Timothy D. Inouye
Cathryn and Robert Kerr
Cathy and Larry Klaiber
Bill and Laura Lacy
Jane and Mike Richardson
Mary and Ron Rogers
Bob Gregoire and Kathleen Socolofsky
Tom and Meg Stallard
Karen Campbell Swift
Rose J. Swift
Gary and Janet Thatcher
Bev and Bruce Watros
Date: Sunday, May 3
Time: 1-3 p.m.
Place: Arboretum GATEway Garden MAP
A shovel sculpture that has quickly become a local icon, gorgeous murals that pay homage to the importance of oaks, fields of tens of thousands of water-wise plants native to this specific area—these are just a few of the attractions you may have noticed emerging out of a formerly barren field behind the Davis Commons Shopping Center.
How did this once orphaned area become what is now the UC Davis Arboretum GATEway Garden? The answer is simple and at the same time incredibly involved; it took a community.
In celebration of the effort of multiple groups and individuals coming together to create this new outdoor, educational space and much needed connection point between the city and campus, the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden is inviting the public to a community festival and official dedication of their newest garden this Sunday from 1-3 p.m. (Dedication ceremony from 1:30-1:45 p.m.)
At the festival, attendees will be welcomed to enjoy a variety of activities including guided and self-guided tours, nature-inspired craft-making, singing and theatrical performances by students and community members, in addition to opportunities to speak with staff and volunteers about the “hyper-local” landscape, built-in sustainability features, garden design, and our community’s involvement in its creation.
“It’s safe to say that anywhere you look in the Arboretum GATEway Garden, there’s a story about how our community came together to create it,” explains Kathleen Socolofsky, assistant vice chancellor and director of the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden.
“Over 400 shovels were donated by individuals and groups to create our entry sculpture, local artists and community members designed and painted the bike tunnel mural, hundreds of volunteers planted the tens of thousands of plants growing here—this place is a testament to the power of collaboration and co-creation inherent in our community and what we strive to infuse in every project we’re involved in. It’s so unique and worth commemorating with a festival!”
The groups involved range from individual donors and hundreds of volunteers to the City of Davis, the campus Office of the Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer, Yolo County Resource Conservation District, Cunningham Engineering, PG&E, TreeDavis, Fulcrum Capital, the City of Davis Civic Arts Commission, City of Davis Open Space and Habitat Commission, Lutsko Associates Landscape Architects, as well as the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services. A California Prop. 84 Urban Greening Grant served as a major catalyst for the project and funded many of the improvements to the garden and adjacent Putah Creek Parkway.
With so many moving pieces and groups with a stake in improving the area it’s no wonder it sat vacant for so long, that is until Emily Griswold, director of GATEways horticulture and teaching gardens for the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden, developed a vision for what the space could be then had the tenacity to get it funded and see it through.
“As a university with leading environmental studies programs, it made sense that we should have an area where we demonstrate some of the most environmentally sound practices in urban landscaping like the restoration of locally native habitats, the use of recycled and repurposed materials, the incorporation of green storm water management systems, and more,” describes Griswold. “It speaks to our core values at the university as well as to the history of the Arboretum.
“But, even if you miss all the environmental significance, and community contributions, it’s just a nice place to stroll around and start your journey into the rest of the Arboretum, or move seamlessly from the campus into the City,” says Griswold. “We needed to improve our connection in this location, now, thanks to so many partners, we finally have a welcoming, beautiful gateway. Let’s celebrate it!”
About the UC Davis GATEways Initiative
The UC Davis GATEways Initiative (Gardens, Arts, Technology and the Environment) is a master planning framework for the Arboretum & Public Garden that envisions the campus landscape as a portal into the campus, to welcome visitors and showcase the creative work and spirit of inquiry at UC Davis.
With the GATEways Initiative, the Arboretum & Public Garden will continue its work as a national leader in the public garden field, but it will also adopt a new mission: to inform visitors about the important ideas and complex issues UC Davis scientists and scholars are tackling. We are working with campus and community partners to develop multi-layered learning experiences that will use teaching landscapes, public arts, exhibits, digital technologies, and interactions with students to engage and inspire visitors.
This year at our campus’s 101st annual Picnic Day celebration the Arboretum and Public Garden was awarded “Best Department Float” in the parade! It’s no wonder really…with a theme like “The Heart of our Community” we had a lot to work with!
Thanks go to our tireless Arboretum Ambassadors students who coordinated this year’s entry with multiple staff members from throughout our Arboretum and Public Garden team.
Last year, thanks to a variety of water conservation efforts implemented by our Arboretum and Public Garden team, our campus was able to reduce our landscape water inputs by 31%–6% more than Governor Brown’s 25% water reduction mandate–but we are still planning to do more.
Right now we’re focusing on lawns were we can reduce, cut back, or eliminate irrigation without impacting our trees. Stay tuned for more information about areas that may be impacted by water reductions and areas targeted for landscape conversions.
It’s hard to believe that no bike parking existed here before, but now–thanks to a partnership with the UC Davis College of Engineering–the area around the Arboretum gazebo, Nature’s Gallery Court, and the Ruth Risdon Storer Garden now are complete with spaces to lock up your two-wheeled vehicles!
Engineering students from our campus, together with engineering students from 14 other schools in the northwestern United States, and as far away as China, came to UC Davis for the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Mid-Pacific Student Conference. This event showcases civil engineering students’ leadership and technical knowledge in several design competitions, one of which included concrete construction, hence our new bike racks!
A huge thank you goes to civil engineering professor John Harvey for organizing the competition, his student assistants who worked on competition logistics, and the student teams from UC Davis, San Jose State University, University of the Pacific, and Tongji University for their hard work to design and build the bike parking areas. The project wouldn’t have been possible without the partnership and guidance of Skip Mezger, campus landscape architect, and Emily Griswold, director of GATEways horticulture and teaching gardens, who assisted the conference coordinators with identifying the project area, developing the designs, and facilitating the implementation.
This is another great example of how we use our landscape as a teaching resource for our students and community with the added bonus of providing a much-needed amenity for our visitors.