Just about every year leading up to Picnic Day, the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden interns and employees design a float around that year’s theme. This year’s float celebrated the uniqueness of the Arboretum and Public Garden with the overarching theme of “Cultivating our Authenticity.”
Learning by Leading GATEways Outreach interns, Sarah Richer and Craig Kennedy, volunteered to take the lead on brainstorming creative float ideas. These students, along with multiple students involved in our Learning by Leading Program, made the entire project a success.
In addition to the float, just outside the Plant and Environmental Sciences Building, students also led a variety of hands-on activities, including a demonstration on how to re-grow fruits and vegetables from food scraps.
“Picnic Day has a lot of moving parts, so it really takes the creativity and effort of all the students to make it happen.” says Melissa Cruz, outreach coordinator and staff mentor for the GATEways Outreach Program. “The project engages students across all our Learning by Leading groups.”
This year students incorporated items that symbolize the hard work that went into the creation of the Arboretum and continues to symbolize its ongoing care.
“At first I wanted to incorporate rakes or shovels,” said Richer.” But then I thought, what if we took the super worn out gloves that volunteers actually used and put them on the float. Now that’s authentic!”
Along with these gloves, student’s pinned up pieces of paper that professors and students wrote on, describing what they loved about the arboretum and why. All of the plants on the float came from the Arboretum Teaching Nursery, while the wooden base of the float was reclaimed redwood from Russell Ranch.
Couldn’t make it this year? See the photos! Click the image gallery link or scroll through the slideshow below.