Project Leads: Sintana Vergara, Ben Runkle, Tim Pine, & Karl Hans
Sponsors: Engineers for a Sustainable World-Berkeley and Office of Environment, Health & Safety
TGIF Grant: $12,865
Project Theme: Habitat Restoration
2008 Application Submission
Project Description: The project team designed and constructed a native plant nursery and garden between Giannini Hall and Wellman Court in order to support the restoration of Strawberry Creek. The project plans included an outdoor nursery of seedlings, a demonstration garden of native plants, and signage illustrating plant species and nursery education for community members.
Strawberry Creek Website
Goals: Design and construct a native plant nursery and garden. Maintain a seed stock for restoring Strawberry Creek's riparian zone with native plants. Preserve species endemic to Strawberry Creek and whose existences are threatened by the spread of invasive species. Provide ecosystem services to the campus landscape. Serve as an effective site for environmental education. Support and expand the EH&S Strawberry Creek Management Plan of 1987, which aims to combat pollution and preserve the natural habitat of the creek area. Expand the EH&S volunteer restoration program which will transfer the natives grown in the nursery to Strawberry Creek's riparian zone. Measure and record the number of species successfully planted both at the garden and near the creek, the number of pollinators frequenting the garden, the area of riparian land converted and restored to native species, and the creek runoff volume and turbidity near replanting sites. Work with academic departments to incorporate the nursery, garden, and restoration program into class lesson plans.
TGIF Blog Posts about Strawberry Creek
|2011 Project Poster|
Construction began on the Native Plant Nursery.
During the week of May 10th, interviews were held with interested students to fill the position of Nursery Coordinator for the summer months; student David Pon was selected and he was formally hired. On May 11th and 12th 2010, irrigation plumbers from PP-CS Grounds, along with a backhoe operator from PP-CS Utilities, installed pipe chases for the irrigation service to both the nursery shade-structure as well as the demonstration native plants garden plot. SCNPN is now operational thanks to the PP-CS Irrigation crew getting water to the shade house.
As of June 1, 2010, work yet to be completed included purchasing and installing flame resistant black shade cloth on the shade structure, installation of an automatic drip/mist irrigation system and a packed decomposed granite pathway, planting of border plants and specimen plants, and purchasing of worker and coordinator office cabinets.
2011-2012 Final Results & Accomplishments
The main goals of a establishing the native plant nursery & garden were to maintain a seed stock for restoring the creek's riparian zone with native plants, to preserve species endemic to Strawberry Creek, whose existence are threatened by the spread of invasive species, to provide ecosystem services to the campus landscape, and to serve as an effective site for environmental education. TGIF funds were used to purchase construction materials and equipment, and to support a work-study student for one year to oversee project development. The now completed project is composed of an outdoor nursery of seedlings, a demonstration garden of native plants designed to attract local pollinators, and signage illustrating plant species and project motivation to community members. The project team envisioned an architecturally integrated garden with curvilinear walking paths that separate raised beds of native species. Visitors to the nursery and garden are be encouraged to visit the Strawberry Creek riparian zone, where they can compare exotic and rehabilitated regions and see locally native plants functioning in restored habitat.
The mission of using the nursery and garden as an educational resource has been accomplished both through the DeCal course taught by paid Cal student Restoration Leaders as well as hosting many classes, clubs and day camps such as the Kids for the Bay summer camp. The location is also a frequent stop on campus tours given by EH&S Environmental Protection staff focusing on UC Berkeley sustainability efforts.
The nursery is presently being used by ESPM graduate and undergraduate students as part of a another TGIF grant to study the characteristics of native and non-native vegetation and the suitability of these plants for use in local habitat restoration while continuing to propagate plants for use within the Campus Natural Areas.
Other Strawberry Creek-related TGIF Grant Projects: