For about five years a large portion of the Mrak Hall Circle landscape sat barren—a large patch of mulch under and around a heritage cork oak tree—next to two mounds of the manicured lawn that is home to Robert Arneson’s egghead sculpture entitled, “Speak no evil, hear no evil.” That all changed on October 30, 2013 when volunteers from the UC Davis Offices of the Chancellor and Provost gathered to landscape the area with staff from the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden.
Months prior to this community planting, Arboretum and Public Garden team members together with landscape architects from our Campus Planning and Landscape Architecture department, designed the landscape, prepped the area for a new irrigation system, worked with staff, students, and volunteers to install it, and collaborated with a campus landscape architecture instructor to incorporate the project into her class curriculum. CLICK HERE to see photos from this process.
This relatively small campus improvement is a great example of the how, no matter the size, team members from the Arboretum and Public Garden are harnessing the power of collaboration and co-creation to improve our campus; we are educating and engaging our students and community, while simultaneously developing stakeholders that care about the future of UC Davis.
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, with catering generously donated 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.
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. LEARN MORE
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. LEARN MORE
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.
If you were not available to join us at the dedication, but are interested in helping create the space, we are hosting two community-planting days in November. Sign-up via the links below.
November 2 Capacity filled! Thank you!
November 24 Capacity filled! Thank you!
Construction on the UC Davis California Native Plant GATEway Garden is nearing completion! The time has come for us to begin landscaping the area with plants that are not only native to California, but native to our local lower Putah Creek watershed. It’s a big job and we need help! If you are interested, we are recruiting for volunteers to help for a couple hours on Sunday, November 24 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Please come prepared to plant and mulch! You will want to bring some water and wear casual clothing and shoes that you won’t mind getting a little dirty. We’ll provide the plants, the plan, and the know-how. We even have a few extra pairs of gloves, but if you have your own, bring those as well.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a green thumb, all thumb colors are welcome! Before planting begins, everyone will be educated on the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden’s best planting and mulching practices.
We look forward to creating this new garden with you and thank you for your help!
NOVEMBER 2 Capacity filled! Thank you!
NOVEMBER 24 Capacity filled! Thank you!
CAN’T ATTEND? If you are not available either day, but are interested in finding out about other volunteer planting events, please register via our website. CLICK HERE.
STAY INFORMED! Sign up for the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden and the UC Davis GATEways Project newsletter. CLICK HERE.
Thanks to new as well as dedicated repeat customers, the Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum’s fall plant sales were a success! The plant inventory, selected to support the fall plant sale season theme “The New Front Yard,” inspired many shoppers to replace their lawns or refresh their landscapes.
The sales also provided a tremendous outreach venue for many of our partners—Lemuria Nursery, Davis Ace Hardware, Silverado Building Materials and Nursery, the California Native Plant Society, the California Native Grasslands Association, local Master Gardeners, Whole Foods Market in Davis, graduate students from plant pathology at our “Plant Doctor Clinic,” graduate students from entomology at our “Pesticide Safety” and “”Fungicide Safety” table, as well as representatives from the City of Davis Integrated Pest Management—to interact with the community and provide valuable information.
As you may know, these plant sales are fundraising events for the Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum. Proceeds from each plant purchase help support our gardens and education programs. With that said we are proud and fortunate to share that the fundraiser was successful and on par with previous years!
Thank you to the members of the Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum, the Davis Botanical Society, the UC Davis Botanical Conservatory, Whole Foods, all our volunteers (without whom these sales would not be possible), and everyone who came out to support our fall sales.
We look forward to seeing you again in the spring!
SAVE THE DATES:
Member sale: March 15, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
(Not a member? Join at the door! Members save 10%; new members save an additional $10 off.)
Public sales: April 5, April 26, and May 17, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Exploring the UC Davis Arboretum’s Peter J. Shields Oak Grove just got easier with the launch of “Oaks Gone Wild!,” a web-based story map dedicated to informing the public about this important campus collection.
You may already know that the UC Davis Arboretum’s Shields Oak Grove is home to one of the largest and most diverse oak collections in the country, but did you know it is home to oaks with acorns as big as golf balls, oaks once grown to build warships, and oaks required to dye the royal robes of European monarchs red? Visitors who explore the “Oaks Gone Wild!” story map will encounter more than interesting horticultural and historical tidbits about these unique trees—the story map also reveals information about the grove’s abundant wildlife and innovative community-created art.
Thanks in large part to the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden’s partnership with Esri—one of the world’s foremost geographic information systems (GIS) companies and a leader in making their resources available to public gardens—we now have the ability to create story maps to educate, entertain, and inspire our virtual and actual visitors. Created for the curious visitor as opposed to the seasoned scientist, this story map seeks to engage its audience with tongue-in-cheek titles and short, engaging descriptions paired with enticing photos. Virtual visitors can tour the collection at home on their desktops or access the information when they arrive on site using their smart phone or tablet.
Stay-tuned for further updates to this map as well as the addition of others by subscribing to the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden blog here.