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Category Archives: Education

Weed Warriors visit Blake

Posted on by Surprise Highway

The Friends of Five Creeks Weed Warriors continue to eradicate two of the creek's most invasive species from the south creek: Himalayan blackberries and Algerian ivy. On this visit, they brought along a group of Japanese students who are visiting from Kyoto. The students are attending a class to learn the  English language through environmental restoration.  They are learning interesting words such as invasive species, eradication,  erosion, and urban runoff



CRS Graduation

Posted on by Surprise Highway
Filed under: Education

U.C. Berkeley's Conservation Resource Science graduates celebrated this year's graduation at the Garden. Although a little cool in the morning, it was a beautiful ceremony and each graduate received a living diploma: a tanbark oak seedling. 



CED Awards Ceremony

Posted on by Surprise Highway
Filed under: Education

With faculty, parents and friends looking on, graduates from the U.C. Berkeley Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning Dept. received numerous awards for the work they have done in the past few years at Berkeley.



Bouquets to Art

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The San Francisco Garden Club asked Garden manager, Lauri Twitchell and another former Master of Landscape Architecture Grad, Holly Selvig to represent them in the annual Bouquets to Art Event at the de Young museum. We chose five pieces within the museums collection to respond to in flowers. We got "Rubbing from the Ball Court", an image from a granite wall from Chichen Itza depicting a soccer like game where the loser loses his head at the end of the match. Green, Purple & Red foliage was collected from the garden. It is early in the season so the red lilies, red roses and red rununculus were purchased. The vase was carved granite. Gallery statement: Our floral piece is inspired by the materiality of the event represented in the "Rubbing from the Ball Court". The stylized nature of the stone carving tempers the extreme drama of the event: the beheading of the loser of the ball game. We tried to capture that drama in color, form, and material, and at the same time, also honor the brutal cultural tradition.



The Organic Cycle

Posted on by Surprise Highway
Filed under: Education, Sustainability, Video

Here is a video short about the importance of composting made by our workstudy student Anastasia Sonkin, a media studies student at UC Berkeley. Part of the video was filmed in the garden.


Slide measuring device installation

Posted on by Surprise Highway
Filed under: Education, Geology

Julian Waeber, Phd candidate in Geological Engineering at U.C. Berkeley has installed a device to track the landslide in the garden, part of the larger Blakemont slide. The  solar powered device will communicate with a satellite daily to track the amount of movement of the landslide. Also installed will be a USGS seismograph to monitor the Hayward fault that runs through the upper part of the  garden.



EDSET hooks up the cistern

Posted on by Surprise Highway
Filed under: Education, Water, Sustainability

Albany High School EDSET interns Jamie, Xian and Sareena finished their Fall semester at Blake Garden last week. They helped to hook up the cistern in the Australian Hollow to the seep via a bamboo aqueduct. The water from the seep will be used to water the new grassland planting. Water flow rates into the cistern were measured at 12 minutes for 1 gallon. The capacity of the cistern is 1400 gallons. At the current flow rate this means that the cistern will fill to capacity in 11.5 days.



EDSET students work on HUGELKULTUR project

Posted on by Surprise Highway

Last Friday our Albany High School EDSET interns Jamie, Xian and Sareena worked beside the new wetland putting in a new field of native grass, Elymus glaucus. They planted on top of  a hugelkultur (or "wild compost") bed that is made of rotting wood cut from the area several years ago, composted weeds and grasses and soil and silt from the wetland.



Prof. Chip Sullivan presentation

Posted on by Surprise Highway

UC Berkeley Dept. of Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning professor, Chip Sullivan, presented some of his books and optical devices to visitors from the McDowell Artists Colony. After Chip's presentation, artist Rusty Lamer showed the group his portable Camera Obscura.



Revealing the Landscape: graduate projects 2011

Posted on by Surprise Highway
Filed under: Education, Design, Build

A yearly tradition is to have LA 101 Landscape Architecture students come to the garden to work on a project entitled Revealing the Landscape. The students are asked to find a place|space in the garden to reveal through temporary installation|interventions. It gives the students a chance to work in the field, handling and building with temporary materials at 1:1 scale. The projects will remain up in the garden until Monday, October 24th.