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:

  • 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!

Friends board updates name to reflect expanded scope of the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden

new name art for blogThe Friends of the UC Davis Arbo­retum Board voted in February to officially change the name of their organization to Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Gar­den. Board Co-President Martha Ozonoff says: “We believe this name change is important as a symbol of the solidarity of the Friends group with the mission and scope of the wonderful organization we support.”

Gifts and memberships in the Friends will continue to help fund the Arboretum, in strategic ways, in addition to now supporting other exciting public garden projects across campus. The new Friends name and an updated logo will be transitioned into all print and digital com­munications over the next year.

Students excel in Learning by Leading Program

In 2013-14, our staff was fortunate to mentor 13 student employees and 40 undergraduate interns through the Learning by Leading program. Here are some of their amazing accomplishments:

  1. Gardening with Native Plants interns designed plantings, installed irrigation, and planted over 1,000 native plants and bulbs.native plant interns
  2. Nursery and Propagation interns grew over 3,000 plants for our plant sales and our Valley-wise horticulture program.nursery and propagation interns
  3. GIS Collections Mapping interns surveyed and mapped over 1,500 plants in the Desert, Acacia, and South African collections, providing essential support for our research and conservation efforts.GIS interns for web
  4. Edible Landscaping interns developed and enhanced seven educational gardens across campus and donated the food grown. They raised over $3,500 in donations and sales. Coordinator Arianna Kosel (seen below in the middle) was named one of three UC Davis Student Employees of the Year.arianna kosel award
  5. Arboretum Ambassadors won the UC Davis Community Service Gold Award and a federal President’s Volunteer Service Award for 1,800 hours donated to create inspiring, free public programs.arboretum ambassador award

Thank you to our incredible students, and congratulations! In addition, we thank all of this year’s Annual Appeal donors who contributed $20,295 to support Learning by Leading students in 2014-15.

7 TIPS for success in your summer garden

by Ellen Zagory, Director of Public Horticulture for the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden

1.Photo of mulchMulch, mulch, mulch. Add a thick layer of wood chips or other organic material to insulate the soil, reduce water loss through evaporation, keep roots cooler, suppress weeds, and reduce soil compaction.
2.Photo of weedsEliminate weeds before they have a chance to go to seed. “One year of seeds, seven years of weeds,” says Superintendent Emeritus of the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden Warren Roberts.
3.Photo of poppies and deergrassDeadhead perennials to extend bloom. When your catmint, Santa Barbara daisies, asters, and other perennials stop blooming and start going to seed, shear them back and apply a shot of water. Usually this will result in renewed bloom. This also works on California poppies.
4.Photo of daffodilsPlan to add summer-dormant bulbs in fall. This will add seasonal color without increasing your water use.
5.Replacing plantsConsider replacing the thirstiest plants with water-saving varieties this fall. Plan to plant in fall to take advantage of fall and winter rains and cooler temperatures to help plants get established.
6.Photo of drip irrigation tubingSave water. Maintain and repair your irrigation system, eliminating any leaks or overspray. Look into converting to low-flow heads or drip irrigation. Irrigate in the evening and early morning to prevent water loss to evaporation. Irrigate deeply and less frequently. Watering your lawn less frequently will slow its growth and reduce the need for mowing
7.Photo of a shade treetRemember to water shade trees even if you stop watering your lawn. Lawns can rebound once more water is available, but trees can be affected by temporary water stress for years to come.
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