Inspiration for California native habitat restoration

Collage of Gottlieb Native Garden press release

Tucked away in the heart of Beverly Hills, the Gottlieb Native Garden wasn’t always the urban oasis of native plants that it is today. Now considered a top destination for California native wildlife, the Gottlieb Native Garden has grown into a major hub for scientific research, education, collaboration and appreciation for the beauty and power of native plants -- all thanks to its founders, Susan and Dan Gottlieb.

On Friday, April 26, Susan Gottlieb, in partnership with the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden and the School of Veterinary Medicine, will be sharing her knowledge and appreciation for the power of native plants at a free event from 7-9 p.m. at Putah Creek Lodge. Susan will be joined by Scott Logan, a Southern California native and the Gottlieb Native Garden’s resident naturalist.

In the 1990s, the Gottliebs dedicated themselves to restoring their one-acre, invasive ivy home garden back to the native ecosystem it was meant to be. Today, the garden survives as a flourishing wildlife environment, playing host to over 200 hand-selected native plant species living in harmony with animal species reflecting California’s natural biodiversity. For the Gottliebs, the garden is their “love story dedicated to the state’s subtler natural beauties and astounding biodiversity,” according to the Gottlieb Native Garden website (http://thegottliebnativegarden.com).

Photo of pond in Gottleib Native Garden
Gottlieb Native Garden in Beverly Hills. Credit: Scott Logan, Wild Wings Ecology

“We are so thrilled to be collaborating with an environmentalist like Susan who shares our dedication to the importance of native plants and wildlife in California,” says Kathleen Socolofsky, assistant vice chancellor and director of the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden.

“Through our combined efforts, I hope we can continue to inspire this community to incorporate native California plants into its landscapes and enjoy the beauty and environmental restoration they provide.”

“It might be an overstatement, but I think we could save the world if we all understood the power of native plants and used them whenever possible,” says Susan Gottlieb.

Along with the power of native plants comes the importance of native pollinators, including hummingbirds. Thanks to the contributions of Susan and the Gottlieb Native Garden, the UC Davis Hummingbird Health and Conservation Program, led by Dr. Lisa Tell, has been able to make considerable strides in its research regarding the impacts of urbanization on hummingbird populations and conservation efforts.

“We’re so grateful to have access to habitats like the Gottlieb Native Garden and the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden, as they are crucial to our research on avian pollinators and sustaining hummingbird populations,” said Dr. Tell. “With the help of Susan and the Gottlieb Native Garden, my team and I have been able to gain an in-depth look at how hummingbirds are functioning in urban settings.”

Book Cover for Gottleib Native Garden: A California Love Story
Book cover: The Gottlieb Native Garden: A California Love Story

Complimentary copies of her book, The Gottlieb Native Garden: A California Love Story, will be available to lecture attendees. Suggested donation of $20 per book will benefit the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden and the UC Davis Hummingbird Health and Conservation Program. The event, dessert reception and parking in the Putah Creek Lodge parking lot are free. For more information, please call (530) 752-4880 or visit https://arboretum.ucdavis.edu/events.

Looking for the perfect opportunity to start growing your own native home garden? On the following day, April 27, shop the Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden’s Public Plant Sale for a vast collection of native California plants. The plant sale event will also feature engaging pollinator outreach activities and the book, The Gottlieb Native Garden: A California Love Story.

 

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