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  • 23 May 2022 7:58 PM | Anonymous

    Inspiration can be found in many places. Luke, from China, has recently completed a degree in Illustration and is visiting Davis and UCD as he would like to continue his studies in media and graphic design. He found inspiration in Bellapede here in Central Park Gardens.

    Our many volunteers have helped us provide a quiet, relaxing place to enjoy nature and a place for artwork from a number of local artists. Not only can nature inspire art, but art can inspire other art.


  • 8 Feb 2022 7:47 PM | Anonymous

    Central Park Gardens was delighted to partner with Tuleyome/Nature’s Theater for a presentation of The Search for King Carbon, a walking play for kids about climate change. A City of Davis Arts grant funded the play. The kids joined a guide to learn how to produce less CO2, help the environment and stop global warming. The Nature’s Theater group put on a wonderful and interactive show on January 29th leading the group throughout Central Park to track down the naughty CO2’s and find the King of Carbon. Great fun was had by all!

    Tuleyome was founded in 2002 as a volunteer advocacy-oriented nonprofit conservation organization. Their mission is to engage in advocacy and active stewardship with diverse communities to conserve, enhance, restore, and enjoy the lands in the region. Lyndsay Dawkins is one of the founders of Nature’s Theater, a program which uses story to create nature-based programming and opportunities for school-aged children. Teens are the mentors for younger kids and volunteer their time.

    • Guide: Jared Umphress
    • Earth King: Ben Simon
    • Tree: Jerah Wilkinson
    • CO2s: Skye Falyn, Maddie Hayes, Ayisi Ni, Siena Dawkins, Noah Meissner

  • 28 Jul 2020 8:30 PM | Anonymous

    In keeping with county and state requirements, we have developed this worksite safety plan. While we are not currently doing public volunteer sessions, our essential garden stewards have been authorized by the city of Davis to perform necessary maintenance in the garden.

    Topics for Work Force Training

    • Information on COVID-19, how to prevent it from spreading, and which underlying health conditions may make individuals more susceptible to contracting the virus.
    • Self-screening at home, including temperature and/or symptom checks, using CDC guidelines.
    • The importance of not coming to work if workers have a frequent cough, fever, difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, recent loss of taste or smell, or if they or someone they live with have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
    • To seek medical attention if their symptoms become severe, including persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, or bluish lips or face. Updates and further details are available on CDC’s webpage.
    • The importance of frequent handwashing with soap and water, including scrubbing with soap for 20 seconds (or using hand sanitizer with at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol when workers cannot get to a sink or handwashing station, per CDC guidelines).
    • The importance of physical distancing, both at work and off work time (see Physical Distancing section below).
    • Proper use of face coverings, including:
      • Face coverings do not protect the wearer and are not personal protective equipment (PPE).
      • Face coverings can help protect people near the wearer, but do not replace the need for physical distancing and frequent handwashing.
      • Workers should wash or sanitize hands before and after using or adjusting face coverings.
      • Avoid touching the eyes, nose, and mouth.
      • Face coverings should be washed after each shift.

    Individual Control Measures and Screening

    • For self-screening at home, ensure that screening was performed prior to the worker leaving the home for their shift and follows CDC guidelines, as described in the Topics for Work Force Training section above.
    • Encourage workers and visitors who are sick or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 to stay home.
    • Central Park Gardens requires workers use all required protective equipment including face coverings and gloves where necessary.
    • Face coverings are strongly recommended when workers are in the vicinity of others. Workers should have face coverings available and wear them when in shared work areas in the garden. Face coverings must not be shared.
    • Central Park Gardens will take reasonable measures including posting signage in strategic and highly-visible locations to remind visitors that they should use face coverings during their visit.

    Cleaning and Disinfecting Protocols

    • Workers should bring their own tools and equipment. Tools should not be shared.
    • Where such items must be shared, disinfect with a cleaner appropriate for the surface between shifts or uses, whichever is more frequent.
    • Equip workspace with proper sanitation products, including hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes.

    Physical Distancing Guidelines

    • Implement measures to ensure physical distancing of at least six feet between workers and visitors.
    • Display signage at entrances to remind people of physical distancing and face coverings usage at every opportunity.
    • Utilize work practices, when feasible and necessary, to limit the number of workers in the garden at one time. This includes scheduling of alternating days for on-site work.
    • Avoid touching others’ tools and equipment. No use of shared tools from the shed.

  • 1 Jul 2020 12:40 PM | Anonymous

    Central Park Gardens of Davis invites and welcomes all to find respite and beauty here during this time. Our hearts ache from the ongoing health crisis, violence, and pain felt by all people.  We are especially concerned for those in the Black community throughout our nation. We stand with all who are seeking change for a better future.

    The City of Davis and Central Park Gardens welcomes the world. We strive to

    ·       Build an environment that values the abilities of all by proactively removing barriers and providing accommodations for full participation.

    ·       Foster a welcoming space where the entire community can engage in civic life and work together for the common good.

    ·       Offer inclusive educational opportunities for all to develop skills and knowledge of sustainable horticultural practices that benefit our community and our environment.

    We are better when we grow together.

  • 20 Oct 2019 9:37 AM | Anonymous

    Central Park Gardens will host its annual Open House and Plant Sale from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26. The gardens are at the corner of Third and B Streets in downtown Davis at Central Park.

    Water-wise California natives, perennials, herbs, succulents, bulbs and vegetables, many of which grow in the gardens, will be available for purchase along the eastern walkway of the gardens. Click here to view the inventory.

    Knowledgeable UC Master Gardeners of Yolo County will staff the plant selection stations to help in the choice of the “right plant for the right place” for a garden in our region of the valley. Master Gardeners will also be throughout Central Park Gardens to answer questions on the mature plantings and show examples of the plants available. Look for the “Ask Me, I’m a Master Gardener” name tags!

    Volunteers from the UC Davis Arboretum Pollinator Education group will host an information display to educate visitors about gardening for pollinators.

    From its early beginnings in 2007 when the challenge of renovating the Central Park Gardens was accepted by a group of community volunteers and Master Gardeners the garden has now, because of the careful selection of plants appropriate to our regional climate, grown into a place of beauty, a haven for native bees, birds and beneficial insects to be enjoyed by all. Please join us at our celebration of 12 years of success and community involvement at Central Park Gardens.

    Central Park Gardens of Davis is a nonprofit all volunteer organization that welcomes community donations. Anyone can become a “friend” by making a donation to the Friends of Central Park Gardens. Proceeds from this event support the purchase of new plants, tools and supplies to maintain and improve the garden as an inspiring and educational public resource.

  • 19 Dec 2018 10:09 AM | Anonymous

    Registration deadline: Monday January 21, 2019 Deadline extended to Wednesday, January 23!

    Are you interested in gardening? Do you enjoy meeting new people and volunteering in your community? If so, we hope you’ll join our Volunteer Garden Steward training program! We are seeking community members who can assist with the leadership of our 2-hour volunteer gardening sessions on Saturday mornings. With support from our experienced garden leaders, Garden Stewards will help guide small groups of volunteers in the care of Central Park Gardens. Our volunteers typically include many UC Davis students seeking volunteer service opportunities, UC Master Gardeners, and community members from a wide range of ages and backgrounds.

    Join the Garden Steward training program to be held from 9 am to 1pm on Saturdays—January 26, February 2, and February 9.  Training will be led by experienced horticulturists and educators Emily Griswold, Taylor Lewis, and Stacey Parker. Hands-on gardening training topics will include pruning, planting, weed identification and control, mulching, and perennial and grass care. Trainees will also learn background information about Central Park Gardens as well as leadership skills and tips for engaging volunteers in the garden. After completion of the training, Garden Stewards will be asked to commit to assisting with Saturday morning volunteer gardening sessions at least once a month for a year. We are requesting a $30 training fee to cover materials, and scholarships are available.

    Central Park Gardens is located on B Street between Third and Fourth Streets in downtown Davis. We are a completely volunteer developed and run organization. Volunteers work to create our inspiring demonstration gardens and engaging educational programs. These community resources aim to motivate home gardeners in the region to adopt more sustainable gardening practices. Our dedicated volunteers come together to care for the gardens and in the process have lots of fun, meet like-minded people, learn more about gardening, and have the joy of contributing to a community treasure.

    Register today! Click here to sign up for the Garden Steward training.

    Our 2017 Garden Steward Training participants said...

    "Excellent training. Really enjoyable with a comfortable learning atmosphere."

    "I learned so much in the training, and I can't wait to use and share my new skills."

    "This training and everyone involved was fantastic - very uplifting!"

  • 29 Aug 2018 8:38 PM | Anonymous

    Amaranthus hypochondriacus

    Amaranthus hypochondriacus is the beautiful annual that you see in our gardens from July until late fall when it dies back because of frost.  Prince’s-feather and Prince-of-Wales feather are also common names for this plant.

    The plant is known to have been a staple food of the Aztecs and used in their rituals.  There is some evidence that early Native Americans grew it as a crop.

    The leaves of the plant and the seeds are a food source and a red pigment derived from the plant has been used as a food coloring.

    Enjoy this lovely ornamental but beware –it is a vigorous self-seeder!

    Source:  Encyclopedia of Life and Plants for a Future

  • 28 Aug 2018 9:45 PM | Anonymous

    Plant lovers take note -- Central Park Gardens of Davis is starting Seasonal Theme Tours at the gardens on Sunday afternoons. The first tour will be Sunday, September 9, from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. The tour is free, but a reservation is required and can be made at Space is limited.

    What to expect -- This first tour will emphasize fall planting and attractive water-wise fall plants. The tour will be led by volunteer docents from the UC Master Gardener program who are well-versed in the history, design, plants, and special features of each of the seven themed gardens that make up Central Park Gardens. Participants will gather for an introduction to the gardens at the entrance to the Rose and Flower Garden. The tour will proceed through the gardens, and finish at the starting point for lemonade and cookies and a question-and-answer session.

    Ultimate goal -- Quarterly Seasonal Theme Tours will also be held on a Sunday afternoon in winter, spring, and summer. These seasonal docent-led tours are being offered as a community resource to both visitors to Davis and local residents. Their purpose is to educate the public about sustainable gardening practices and plants that do well in this area through the changing seasons.

    Location – The gardens are located in Central Park in Davis. The main entrance is at the corner of Third and B Streets, adjacent to the Davis Bicycle Museum. The gardens celebrated its tenth anniversary in April, 2017, and the docents look forward to sharing the history of its success with the tour participants. The gardens are managed and maintained by community and student volunteers. As a 501(c) (3) nonprofit public benefit corporation, Central Park Gardens depends upon donations and membership in a Friends program for plants, equipment, and other garden needs.

    Join in the fun -- There are many incredible plants and art objects in the gardens. Come and see their fantastic qualities and join the docent volunteers in an interesting afternoon of garden education and delight! Make your reservation soon. Click here to register.

  • 26 Aug 2018 10:51 AM | Anonymous

    by Jan Bower, UC Master Gardener

    In 2013, a dedicated group of volunteers designed and installed a dry stream bed in the Waterwise Garden of Central Park Gardens. Dry stream beds have become popular as part of the environmental effort to transform lawns into drought-tolerant landscape. A dry stream bed mimics a natural watercourse and provides an artful landscape design feature. Stones and boulders are placed in and along a meandering channel or gully to look as if the force of water put them there. Along the edges are planted ferns, ornamental grasses, sedges, and small shrubs that give the stream a natural look and a cooling effect as they blow in a breeze. Although stepping stones, waterfalls, and even bridges can be incorporated into the design, the dry stream bed in Central Park Gardens is quite simple, with a couple of meandering curves running diagonally through the Waterwise Garden. The dry steam bed serves as a valuable educational tool for UC Master Gardeners to use when they give on-site community workshops on xeriscaping and Mediterranean gardening.

    Why would you build a dry stream bed?
    If you have an area of your landscape that is soggy, dry, hot, too shady, too sunny, or the soil is unfavorable, a dry stream bed may solve your problem. It can reduce topsoil erosion in areas where there is a lot of runoff from heavy rains, correct a seasonal drainage problem, or funnel excess water flow to a stormwater outlet or pond. With water becoming a scarce commodity and water rates increasing, reduced water use is being encouraged. A dry stream bed is an ideal replacement for a thirsty lawn or plants because it uses rocks, which add a natural looking element to your landscape. During the rainy season, the channel will fill with water, and you will have a real stream in your yard – but alas, no fish! Besides the practical aspect, dry creek beds can be attractive. In fact, some gardeners with absolutely no landscape problems build dry creek beds just because they like their decorative look.

    Where would you build a dry stream bed?

    Before creating a dry stream bed, look at some natural creek beds and observe the positions of the rocks and the overall scale of the beds. Notice how natural streams widen on the bends, and how boulders remain in the middle of the stream, while smaller rocks wash to the sides. If you have a slope or a drainage pipe, this is the place to begin your dry stream bed. A dry stream bed looks best if it follows an existing slope or a change in elevation, even if it’s not a natural feature of the landscape. It should also follow a meandering or curving path rather than a straight line. If there is a large landmark that you want to use as a focal point, build the mouth of the dry stream bed there, or have the headwaters appear to come from behind a large boulder or group of plants. Also keep in mind that natural creek beds are usually wider than they are deep. A ratio of 2:1 should look about right. For example, if you want a dry stream bed to be about four feet wide, make it about one foot deep in the center.

    How would you build a dry stream bed?

    First, determine how much area you want to use for your dry stream bed. For some, just a few feet will be ideal; others may want to cover an entire area. Define the shape of the dry stream bed by laying it out with a hose or a rope and mark the edges with landscaper’s paint. Remove any grass, weeds, roots, or other vegetation, and dig the channel along your mark as deep as you like, maintaining about a 2:1 ratio as described above. A rototiller can help dig the trench. Move the excavated soil to other parts of the landscape or mound it up along the sides of the channel to create planting banks. Tamp down the excavated soil with a tamping tool. Some landscapers like to line the channel with landscape fabric to prevent weeds from popping up; others prefer not to do this because the fabric can become exposed over time, particularly with a heavy rain. If you use landscape fabric, tack it down with fabric pins or garden staples and cover it with a layer of sand, gravel, or river rock. If the stream bed will carry water, the bed needs to be reinforced with stiff wire netting, and the rocks installed into the netting with at at least 2 inches of mortar to hold them in place. Fibreglass can also be used to hold rocks in a stream bed, but this is an expensive and more complicated process, and should probably be done by a professional. The advantage of using fibreglass is that the stream bed will last longer – probably a lifetime!

    Choosing rocks

    Choose rocks, stones, and gravel in a variety of shapes and different sizes, combining smooth river rocks with small water-washed boulders to make it look natural. Usually the rocks are in tones of grey and tan and mix well, but some colorful pebbles can also be added for decoration. Rocks should be in scale with the size of your yard and stream bed. For example, a small stream bed should not be overwhelmed with huge boulders. Place rounded small and medium-sized river rocks along the center of the channel to create the effect of rapids or ripples, but avoid organizing the rocks in any pattern. Add some larger rocks or boulders along both edges and in the middle of the stream to create an appearance of their being too heavy for the current to move. Put large boulders at the bends in the stream and to disguise the headwaters. For a more natural appearance, put some rocks on top of each other or partially bury them. Move the stones around to get the look you want and to showcase the rock’s best side. Fill any spaces with more river rocks. Spread fine gravel at the lower end of the dry stream bed to create the appearance of naturally-deposited sediment.

    Adding plants:
    After you build a dry stream bed, you can dress it up a bit. For instance, plants, such as lomandras and dianellas, will soften the edges, while small palms, dwarf clumping bamboo, and birch trees, leaning over the stream bed, create a very pretty picture. The use of native California plants adds to the natural appearance of the dry stream bed and reduces maintenance. To further enhance the bed, add a piece of driftwood, a gnome, or a moss-covered log. If you want to grow moss on any of the rocks, spray them with buttermilk and place them in a moist, shady area. Aquatic plants work well if you have dug a sinkhole or hollow somewhere in the creek bed channel, and it fills with water.

    What You Will Need:
    Landscaper’s paint
    Landscape fabric
    Fabric pins or garden staples
    River rocks and boulders
    Wheelbarrow for mixing the mortar
    Tamping tool
    Drought-tolerant plants

  • 12 May 2018 3:21 PM | Anonymous

    Spring Butterfly Excitement!
    By Judy Hecomovich

    On April 14th, volunteer gardeners were lucky to witness one of nature’s amazing events.  We spotted a Monarch butterfly on the milkweed in the Meadow Garden. 

    “Big deal,” you might say.  But it was early for one to be out and about.  And the milkweed sprouts were only about 6 inches tall. And there was more . . .

    Our interest grew as she stayed and visited one milkweed sprout after another.  We felt lucky that she stayed and we got to observe her for so long.  And it gets better . . .

    Finally we noticed that she was doing something at each sprout – her abdomen touched down on the stem or leaf. At last we realized she had left something there -AN EGG!

    Being transparent, each egg was hard to see at first, but with time, each one became more opaque and yellowish. Some of us realized that we had seen eggs last year on the milkweed but mistook them for aphids or other insects.  But now we knew they were eggs and not to be disturbed! We were watching the next generation of Monarchs getting started!

    You may have missed this amazing event in April, but don’t despair. This particular Monarch was early and there should be many more to come this spring.

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Come visit us in Davis Central Park, on B Street between Third and Fourth Streets in Downtown Davis. 


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