The mix of meadow grasses planted last year to replace a high-maintenance, high-water lawn west of the Peter J. Shields Oak Grove continues to thrive. See photo below. (Capturing the majestic oaks before they lose their leaves also helps highlight the dramatic makeover!)
Grounds staff have sprayed the turf in the median on La Rue Road and you should see the grass turning brown. In a couple of weeks, the turf will be removed and work will begin on retrofit of the irrigation from spray to drip. The Arboretum staff has prepared a list of plants to be considered as CPCR Landscape Architects begin the design. Watch for heavy equipment in November!
Peter Raven, the internationally respected botanist, president emeritus of the Missouri Botanical Garden and a recipient of the National Medal of Science, attended a planning meeting with Arboretum staff and campus partners last month focusing on the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden initiative, a plan to transform campus plantings into sustainable teaching landscapes. Dr. Raven spoke enthusiastically about the project’s potential for educating students and visitors about the university, environmental science and global climate change.
Dr. Peter Raven is one of the world’s leaders in botanical research and conservation. Mary Burke, Director of Planning and Collections at the UC Davis Arboretum, has collaborated with Dr. Peter Raven on several projects and was able to help schedule his visit to UC Davis in partnership with the College of Biological Sciences.
Six months ago, as a result of support and leadership from UC Davis Administrative and Resource Management Vice Chancellor John Meyer, and in partnership with Campus Planning and Community Resources, the UC Davis Public Garden Initiative began.
In October, the scientific journal, BioScience (Vol. 61, no. 10), ran a feature article on botanical gardens, “The Evolving Role of Botanical Gardens.” In this overview about the role of public gardens in contemporary society, the variety of botanical gardens around the world — which includes more than 3,000 gardens that manage living collections of plants for science, study, and pleasure — was emphasized, along with the conservation work the gardens undertake as modern day arks for plant biodiversity.
Last week the UC Davis Public Garden team put the finishing touches on the campus’s first landscape conversion project — the Shields Oak Grove Meadow. Congratulations to everyone involved in this team effort and to project manager Andrew Fulks, Director of the UC Davis Putah Creek Riparian Reserve!