Posts Tagged ‘Public Garden’

Photo of the UC Davis Arboretum 75th Anniversary kick-off and endowment launch

On October 19th, Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum Board President Nancy Shapiro along with her husband Howard, hosted a kick-off celebration in honor of the Arboretum’s 75th anniversary. The evening was a wonderful way to look back at the history of the Arboretum with many of the people integral to its growth and look forward to a strong future as we embark on a campus-wide public garden project. We are so grateful for their generosity and leadership!

During the program portion of the event, UC Davis Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Ralph Hexter expressed his feelings about the important role that the Arboretum plays on campus, highlighting the restorative nature of the gardens, as a place for both reflection and recreation.

Arboretum Director Kathleen Socolofsky ended the evening with a thank you to our long-time supporters, with a very special thank you to Superintendent Emeritus, Warren Roberts.  Through his tireless love and devotion to the Arboretum, Warren was the inspiration for our new planned giving society, the Warren G. Roberts Arboretum Legacy Society, established to honor endowment and planned giving donors. The establishment of this society is an important first step to building a $50M endowment that will support the Arboretum for future generations.

Thank you to everybody who helped make this very special night so wonderful!

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This pilot project is already well on its way to completion thanks to a collaborative group of Public Garden team members including Andrew Fulks, Director of  the Riparian Reserve. who is serving as project manager for this conversion effort. Dave Klippert and his Civil and Industrial Services team are now preparing the space for its sustainable, low-maintenance landscape by removing the grass and hauling the extra dirt away so that Matt Forrest’s team from Grounds and Landscape Services can retrofit the irrigation from sprinklers to drip.

Skip Mezger and Christina DeMartini Reyes from Campus Planning and Landscape Architecture are putting the finishing touches on a landscape plan that will include 10 types of plants determined to be ‘cast-iron,’ regionally-appropriate, low-maintenance selections for this environment by Arboretum staff members Ellen Zagory, Emily Griswold and Ryan Deering.


Before grass removal from La Road Median Conversion


The dead grass is removed from the median, scooped up and removed from the site.

Photo of grass removal from La Rue Road Median Conversion

Photo of dirt dump from La Rue Road Median Conversion


Photo of ater grass removal from La Rue Road Median Conversion

For a recap of all the posts about this conversion project click here.

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As part of the UC Davis Public Garden Initiative, the campus will undertake a master planning effort to redesign portions of the campus landscape to save money, improve campus aesthetics, and provide more opportunities for teaching, research, and community engagement.

Two pilot projects have been initiated that will convert high-maintenance turf areas into lower-maintenance and lower-cost landscape types.  These landscape types will showcase Central Valley ecosystems and Valley-Wise plants.  In addition to less water use and less cost to maintain, these conversions will be more attractive and give UC Davis a unique look and sense of place.

Project 1: La Rue Median Strip conversion

La Rue median strip

The first project is the conversion of the La Rue road median strip from turf to mulch and shrubs.  The turf represents a 1950’s-era aesthetic, and requires a high frequency of maintenance (see photo above).  The safety of the workers maintaining a turf area in the middle of a busy road is also a concern.  The redesigned median will be designed and built by the Campus Planning and Community Resources team, leveraging the strengths of the Arboretum, Putah Creek Riparian Reserve, Grounds, Agricultural Services, and Landscape Services.

The Arboretum will be working with Skip Mezger, Campus Landscape Architect, to design the median using drought-tolerant shrubs and grasses.  These plants require lower water use, are more aesthetic than turf, and require less frequency of maintenance.  Mulch for the project will be developed by chipping tree branches gathered during routine maintenance on campus, and through removal of eucalyptus trees from along Putah Creek, as part of habitat restoration efforts.

Weed abatement at this site began yesterday and will occur again in 3-4 weeks.   So now, when you see brown patches here, you’ll know that’s a good thing!  The UC Davis Public Garden team is preparing to convert this site!

After the conversion project is complete, the La Rue median will have landscape similar to that of King Hall (see photo below).

King Hall landscape

Project 2: Arboretum Meadow

Oak Grove meadow

The second project is creation of the Arboretum Meadow at the west end of the Arboretum.  The beloved Shields Oak Grove is one of the most important collections of mature oak trees in the world.  Recently there was a native grassland restoration under some of the oaks (see photo above), and the Arboretum Meadow will be created on 2 acres of turf between the largest stands of oaks.  The turf will be replaced with native California grasses which will provide homes for insects and animals, and will dramatically reduce water use and maintenance costs.  It will also be available as a teaching and research area about California native grasslands.

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The Sac Bee featured the UC Davis Arboretum’s 75th Anniversary and also included news about about our public garden initiative.

To read the full article, click  here.

Photo of Sac Bee Home and Garden story about UC Davis Arboretum's 75th Anniversary.

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