Ethnobotany Garden

Project Leads: Ariel Cherbowsky

Sponsor: Strawberry Creek Collective

TGIF Mini-Grant: $800

Project Theme: Habitat Restoration

Project Location

2013 Application Submission

Status: Discontinued (please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions) 

Project Description:  Work with the Ohlone community and other interested people to create a gathering-space landscape in an area upland of Strawberry Creek within the Grinnell Natural Area of the UC Berkeley central campus. This space will educate the public and the UC Berkeley community about the traditional ecological knowledge of the Ohlone peoples regarding their indigenous land management practices and uses of native plants.


  1. Foster higher public awareness about the presence of past and present Ohlone communities in the region.
  2. Start establishing relationships with the Ohlone commmunity that will encourage and facilitate the continual participation of interested members in the ongoing ecological restoration of Strawberry Creek.

2014 Progress: 

  • Uutreach efforts were initiated, ranging from seeking out project advisors and student participants to creating a project website.
  • Project research began which will allow for the planning and planting of the garden in the fall of 2014, following continued efforts to remove and suppress invasive plants currently on site
  • Met with main Ohlone leader of the project and visited and examined the project site, discussed visions for the project, and contemplated the variety of roles that members of both the campus and Ohlone communities can take in the project.
  • Various invasive plants (wild oat, ripgut brome) have been pulled from the site of the ethnobotany gardens

Timeline Progress and Next Steps: 

Summer 2015:

  • Finish removing invasive plants from the site and implement weed suppression strategies like “sheet mulching”
  • Continue researching ethnobotanical uses of bay area plants
  • Begin collecting, growing, or purchasing the plants to be introduced in the garden
  • Begin designing the landscape layout of the site
  • Begin crafting the educational material/signage for the site
  • Continue outreach efforts
  • Continue to add material to the project website

Fall 2015: 

  • Continue outreach efforts
  • Plan and host planting events to communally create the garden
  • Identify and organize strategies to ensure the ongoing maintenance of the garden

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.