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The living laboratory: Transforming the campus into a public garden

female student studying in arboretum

The UC Davis Arboretum has been our campus gem for 76 years. A plant lover’s dream, the 100-acre garden is practical and instructive as well, providing visitors countless resources for recreation, education and research opportunities.

With more than 2,400 kinds of plants and trees — 31,000 in total — the arboretum offers guided tours, outdoor art, documented plant collections, exhibits and plantings, family programs, plant sales, volunteer and internship opportunities. And there is no entry fee!

In the years ahead, the arboretum is transforming the campus to a “public garden" that encompasses landscape plantings throughout the campus and emphasizing native and sustainable plants. The transformation will forge an even greater connection with the university’s academic teaching and research missions.

The Public Garden Initiative expands on the arboretum’s GATEways Project (GATE stands for Gardens, Arts and The Environment). 

Learn more about the arboretum.

Photo of UC Davis student Amber Nelson studying near Lake Spafford in the arborteum, by Karin Higgins/UC Davis.

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