Blake Garden ADA Path with Native Plant Garden & Viewshed

Project Leads: Lauri Twitchell, Kinya Shiraishi, Miriam Grace Eason

Sponsor: Blake Garden, UC Berkeley Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning

TGIF Mini-Grant: $1,500

Project Theme: Habitat Restoration

Project Location

2013 Application Submission

Status: Completed 

Project Description: Blake Garden planted a native drought tolerant garden around the newly constructed ADA accessible path connecting the event lawn with the new handicap bathroom in the education center. The ADA path enabled more people to directly experience nature and a viewshed to Cerrito Creek all the way to the San Francisco Bay. Since path construction displaced a native California plant community, there was a high likelihood that invasive species would overrun this area and the group proactively planted natives and drought tolerant plant communities that could be enjoyed by people as well as support local wildlife.

Goals: Blake Garden serves as an interactive classroom, gathering space, and community resource. This student-generated design surrounding the ADA accessible path will serve multiple functions as an ecological, social, and educational environment. This project will enable more student and community visitors to access the viewshed and native garden, which will also support habitat diversity for birds, bees, butterflies and other species. Additionally, these plants will contribute to bank stability for Cerrito Creek.


2014 Poster
2013-2014 Accomplishments: 

  • Students learned about collaborative design process, garden management skills, and about native and drought tolerant plants. Visitors from the University of California, Berkeley campus, the neighborhood and larger community will be able to enjoy the native plantings which also support wildlife.
  • Held student design charrettes at Blake Garden
  • Finalized a collaborative drought tolerant and native plant design which enhanced the viewshed to Cerrito Creek and the San Francisco Bay from the ADA accessible path
  • Organized four volunteer work days in Blake Garden to prepare the site by removing invasive weeds, spreading on-site generated mulch, as well as pruning dead branches to clear the view.
  • Hosted two volunteer planting days once the site was prepared.
  • Students collaboratively designed stairs connecting a path to the educational center.
  • Installed a bio-terrace bank stabilizing structure consisting of coir mat on a steep creek slope staked down with on-site grown redwood stakes and planted with red twig dogwood (a stunning and fast growing variety) with roots to support the bank.

Mission Statement

The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) provides funding for projects that reduce UC Berkeley's negative impact on the environment and make UC Berkeley more sustainable. TGIF will allocate funds to projects that promote sustainable modes of transportation, increase energy and water efficiency, restore habitat, promote environmental and food justice, and reduce the amount of waste created by UC Berkeley. Portions of the fund also support education and behavior change initiatives, student aid (via return to aid), and internships. TGIF is supported by student fees and administered through a student-majority committee and a program coordinator.