Arboretum Front Entrance Renovation Making Progress

September 27, 2016

By Martin Quigley and Linda Anderson 

Arboretum: Front entry update

The foundations are laid!  Thanks to an anonymous donor last spring and to our success on Giving Day, we have been able to pay for services from the campus tree crew and grounds services with their heavy equipment.  The views from the lower parking lot once again reach from our local Moore Creek to the Monterey Bay beyond.  Our very locally sourced marble walls and the vertical Italian cypress beckon visitors in.  All the hand labor on stone placement has been performed by our own student workers who, in 2066, if nothing else, will be able to bore their grandchildren by pointing out the rock walls and bragging a little.

The new entry configuration is all about safety.  Yes, the driveway does seem narrower.  Ironically, not only is the new driveway actually  wider than the sum of the previous separated lanes, it is wider than the campus engineer, Eli Mowbry, recommended as a safe minimum for a new, combined entry/exit.  But our perception that the entry is tighter results from having to make a perpendicular right turn.  The previous gradual long-angled entry posed two safety issues.  Traffic going north entered the Arboretum at unsafe speeds, and traffic coming south and turning left had a greater than 90° turn.  And finally, a greater safety concern is that large vehicles coming down the hill were turning into the former exit lane, causing numerous short-stops and a bit of terror in the driveway.  So, let’s all slow down.  Things will improve when we get the pavement patched, and some painted lines. Soon, we hope!

Coming soon to the entrance will be an exuberant and unrestrained mix of shrubs and herbaceous perennials. We’ve received a generous donation of plants from Jeff and Lisa Rosendale at Sierra Azul, and we’ll be mixing those with our own stock, provided by Helen and her crew and students.  The entrance will emphasize the sustainability and the multitude of textures and colors of plants from Mediterranean climates for which the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum is known globally.  It will say WE ARE HERE-- please come in.

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