IN THE NEWS: Edible landscape interns receive well-deserved feature

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Students from our Edible Landscape Internship were featured recently on the UC Davis home page (see above). This group of students, the newest members of the Arboretum and Public Garden’s “Learning by Leading” program, are working to develop, maintain, program, and support edible landscapes throughout campus including the UC Davis Good Life Garden, plots in the Experimental College garden, and the Salad Bowl Garden just outside of the Plant and Environmental Sciences building, just to name a few. READ THE FULL ARTICLE here.

They have started their own blog to document their work throughout campus. Keep up to date with their progress via the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden Edible Landscape Internship blog.

Congratulations to Stacey Parker and her team of Edible Landscape Interns for this well-deserved feature!


Students offer edibles at public plant sales

Vice Chancellor John Meyer retires

meyer-headshot-blogA huge thank you is due to Vice Chancellor John Meyer who retired from the university after 14 years of service. It was in July of 2011 that John integrated all of the units responsible for our outdoor spaces into the unit now known as the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden—a move he felt would lead the campus to a new level of sophistication and collaboration in its approach to stewarding the campus landscape.

We cannot thank him enough for his leadership and support of our organization and the UC Davis GATEways Project. We look forward to continuing to fulfill his vision and developing the resource of our campus grounds into a model for other public gardens and institutions of higher education worldwide.

In partnership with the Office of the Chancellor and Provost, we have dedicated the “Oak Food Chain” bench (see photo below) in our oak grove to John’s legacy at the university. We wish him many, many more successes and hope that he will continue to provide our organization the guidance on which we’ve always relied.


SEE A PHOTO GALLERY of the Oak Food Chain bench which has been dedicated to John Meyer’s legacy.

Water conservation featured in Sustainability Showcase

14444155790_38ae4f3228_zThe Sustainability Showcase, located in one of the main hallways of the Memorial Union, features revolving exhibits highlighting actions our campus units have taken to improve our sustainability. The exhibits may be about conserving our natural resources, being creative with our reuse, engaging with the community, or all of the above.

The Arboretum and Public Garden exhibit showcases a map of our main campus with information presented about how we’ve been helping conserve water with high-efficiency irrigation systems, water-wise plant selections, and turf conversions. Visitors are also invited to grab a marker and share the location of their favorite campus landscapes.

Our communications and marketing team members Katie Hetrick and Andrew Larsen developed the exhibit concept with help from Arboretum Ambassdor Nicole Porter, as well as Arboretum and Public Garden team members. It has been on display since April and will be up throughout summer. We hope you’ll have a chance to drop by! If not, here’s a photographic sampling of some of the remarks we’ve been getting! It’s nice to see all the different and very specific opinions!


Emily Griswold receives Chancellor’s Star Award

STAR Award_Griswold_2-27-14_CF  (2)This year, Chancellor Linda Katehi created a new STAR Award to recognize staff members who have made significant contributions to UC Davis in areas such as fostering a bold and innovative spirit, partnering in economic development, and promoting community. We are thrilled that Emily Griswold, our Director of GATEways Horticulture and Teaching Gardens, was one of 11 people to receive this first-ever recognition for her tireless work to grow and care for the Arboretum’s collections and develop new gardens in collaboration with academic and community partners. Emily helped raise over $1.5 million to build the new California Native Plant GATEway Garden and restore the Putah Creek Parkway with native plants. According to Chancellor Katehi, “The inaugural winners epitomize the excellence of our staff and their commitment to this institution.” Congratulations, Emily!

Grounds and Landscape Services team receives award for campus community contribution

Photo of grounds supervisors and other arboretum and public garden staff at the citations for excellence ceremony.

(BACK) Assistant Director Carmia Feldman, Assistant Vice Chancellor and Director Kathleen Socolofsky, Grounds and Landscape Services Supervisor Matt Forrest, Vice Chancellor John Meyer, Assistant Director Andrew Fulks,  Grounds and Landscape Services Supervisor Greg Patzkowski, (FRONT) Grounds and Landscape Services Supervisor Tyson Mantor, Director of GATEways Horticulture and Teaching Gardens Emily Griswold, GATEways Horticulturist Stacey Parker, Associate Director of Grounds and Landscape Services Cary Avery.

Our Grounds and Landscape Services supervisor team received an honorable mention award in for their outstanding “Campus Community Contributions”  by the UC Davis Staff Assembly’s Citations of Excellence Committee!

They were celebrated at the Citations of Excellence Award Ceremony on May 21, 2014. (See photo above.)

Time and again, each and every one of our grounds supervisors have demonstrated their dedication to the campus. This campus is lucky to have them–if we do say so ourselves!

Congratulations to the following Supervisors from Grounds and Landscape Services:

  • Cary Avery
  • Matthew Forrest
  • Kore Higuchi
  • Tyson Mantor
  • Greg Patzkowski
  • Nelson Randolph

Below is the heartfelt narrative that GATEways Horticulturist Stacey Parker wrote as part of her nomination package.

Dear UC Davis Citations for Excellence Committee:  

Three years ago, four administrative units merged to create an entity responsible for leading the campus to a new level of sophistication and collaboration.  I joined this team 1.5 years ago and in that short time, I have had the pleasure of working with one particular team of supervisors that has consistently demonstrated an exemplary level of service and dedication.  This team of six has collectively served the UC Davis community for more than 134 years.  To attempt to convey the level of dedication and service exhibited by each of these individuals is a challenge, since to know them is to know these qualities.  Their unique level of service comes from something as simple as believing in what they do.  Believing in what they do fosters an intrinsic pursuit of excellence that is prevalent throughout their work—in every interaction, every task, and every project.  This passion drives each and every one of them to reach further, to try harder, to innovate, and to anticipate the campus community’s needs.  As such, their actions are steeped in wisdom and their exceptional workmanship improves the experience of every single person on campus.

As leaders in their field, the broadest level of this team’s impact is realized on a national scale as a model for others.  They routinely share their findings with the public, collaborate with their colleagues in the industry, and serve in leadership capacities at the regional and national level.  Closer to home, their expertise is shared freely with the entire university community including students and visitors, who often count on them to share best practices. They consistently collaborate with other departments and units and exceed expectations by providing service beyond what’s been asked. 

While this team’s level of service epitomizes UC Davis’ standard of excellence in the community at large, their high level of service couldn’t be reflected more than with their own people.  Each supervisor shines in a unique way. One finds each of his employees on their birthday and hand-delivers a birthday card.  Another team member shows his service by setting an example, working directly alongside his employees, and modeling what it means to be a hard-worker.  Another serves as an inspiration for his people by coaching them to always do the right thing.   Knowing that the quality of their work life is related to their overall health and well-being, he established a preventative injury program that has resulted in a 70% decrease in workers’ compensation claims.  Still another supervisor works with staff members with special needs, mentoring them beyond the realm of the regular workday by patiently teaching them the everyday life skills they need to thrive and succeed. 

It is hard to imagine a UC Davis team more devoted to their work, more promoting of an inclusive work environment, more respected nationally in their field, or more instrumental in creating a positive campus experience for all. Each supervisor consistently stretches above and beyond their job description and together, they are most deserving of recognition.



UC Davis has been named “Tree Campus USA” for the sixth year in a row


UC Davis has been named “Tree Campus USA” for the sixth year in a row by the Arbor Day Foundation!

The Tree Campus USA program recognizes college and university campuses that effectively manage their campus trees, develop connectivity with the community beyond campus borders to foster healthy urban forests, and strive to engage their student population utilizing service learning opportunities centered on campus, and community forestry efforts.

What does it take to be named a “Tree Campus USA”?

  • Campus Tree Advisory Committee
  • Campus Tree Care Plan
  • Campus Tree Program with Dedicated Annual Expenditures
  • Arbor Day Observance
  • Service Learning Project

Congratulations to our Grounds and Landscape Services team for taking care of our trees and keeping them a priority for our campus and the environment!

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