Sunday, March 29, 2015

Beer and spades mix at UC Davis shovel drive event

Community members, Arboretum staffers, volunteers and UC Davis students are ready to collect your used shovel for use in a sculpture that will serve as a gateway between downtown Davis and the UCD Arboretum. Sue Cockrell/Enterprise photo

From page A1 | August 08, 2013 |

It’s a beer-tasting with a twist. Your ticket to enter? An ID and a used shovel!

The shovels are for a sculpture commissioned and funded by the city of Davis in a new garden where the UC Davis Arboretum connects with downtown Davis, behind the Davis Commons shopping center. Nearly 250 shovels already have been donated toward the 400 that are needed.

You can help close the gap by bringing a shovel to the beer-tasting from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday during the Second Friday ArtAbout. Admission for anyone without a used shovel is $5, with proceeds benefitting Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum.

The event, sponsored and hosted by Whole Foods Market in Davis Commons at First and E streets, will feature beer from Sacramento’s Track 7 Brewing Co. and food pairings from Whole Foods.

The Arboretum Terrace Garden and Lois Crowe Patio, next door to Whole Foods, will host additional activities, including music and a performance by Davis-based Common House Productions. Other participants include the UCD Art-Science Fusion Program, the UCD department of design, the Davis Art Center and the UCD Arboretum, of course, with displays of Arboretum All-Stars.

Visitors also can learn about the Downtown Davis Parkway Greening project just getting under way behind Davis Commons. Besides the Arboretum’s California Native Plant GATEway Garden, the project will include improvements to the greenbelt along the Putah Creek Parkway, used by pedestrians and bicyclists going to and from South Davis (under the railroad tracks and Interstate 80).

Watch for detours

One detour is already in place in the UC Davis Arboretum, and others are coming, because of an irrigation project in the western half of the Arboretum and construction of a new garden at the Arboretum’s east end.

Irrigation: This project is under way in the Southwest USA and Mexican Collection, west of Mrak Hall Drive. The collection is on the north side of the Arboretum waterway; therefore, the path is blocked on that side through mid-September. Detours are posted.
New garden: Construction is scheduled to start next week on the California Native Plant GATEway Garden behind the Davis Commons shopping center. In advance of the work, the contractor is fencing off the site. Signs and detours will be in place. Project completion is set for mid-November.

A committee of campus, city and community representatives chose a sculptor who plans to erect a vine-inspired gateway, with old shovelheads serving as “leaves” on twisted steel pipe.

The city of Davis Municipal Arts Fund is paying for the sculpture — well, except for the shovels!

“We are grateful to the Davis Civic Arts Commission for recommending this project,” said Kathleen Socolofsky, assistant vice chancellor and director of the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden. “It’s an opportunity to celebrate the campus’ long-term partnership with the city and commemorate our connection.”

Whole Foods marketing team leader Kristen Tantarelli said the market sees the sculpture project as a great opportunity to be an active neighbor and support a local cause.

“If providing a little food, drink and a festive atmosphere entices more donors, we’re here to help!” she said.

The sculptor, Christopher Fennell, a renowned recycled materials artist, is due here in October to build the sculpture, so the shovels are needed now. Donations are welcome at Arboretum headquarters in Valley Oak Cottage, across from the Watershed Sciences Building on La Rue Road. Office hours are 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

Shovels also are accepted at the city’s Parks and General Services Department, 1818 Fifth St., between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and at Whole Foods Market, 500 First St., between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. daily.

For more information, visit or



Katie F. Hetrick

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