October 29, 1999

Campus dedicates a mini-watershed

Tod Rasmussen/Axiom Photo

Research scientist Greg McPherson stodd on a tank that filters and stores rainfall runoff to demonostrate a "sustainable garden," designed to function like a mini-watershed that retains and recycles storm water, shades the ground and cleans the air. The garden was dedicated and demonstrated amid a simulated rainstorm on campus last week. In the absence of a natural gully washer, "rain" was provided by the UC Davis Fire Department’s tanker truck. The event took place at the Western Center for Urban Forest Research and Education, located in the Department of Environmental Horticulture near the University Club. The dedication speakers included Mary Nichols, secretary of the California Resources Agency; Frederick Teichert, executive director of the Teichert Foundation; and McPherson with the Western Center for Urban Forest Research and Education. The sustainable garden was designed to use water runoff from nearby roofs for irrigation and to make use of drought-tolerant plants and a solar-powered irrigation pump. Light- colored and permeable paving reduces runoff and decreases heat absorption. It will serve as an outdoor laboratory for students and faculty to learn more about effective multipurpose solutions to regulate the flow of water, energy and materials. The garden was installed by UC Davis students, faculty and staff and designed by a group of UC Davis landscape architecture students.

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Dateline UC Davis is the faculty and staff newspaper for the University of California, Davis.