Need an outdoor classroom? The intent of this project was to restore the native plant population and control slope erosion while integrating an interpretive element to teach scientists and students who visit this University of California Natural Reserve in Big Sur, California about the native palette. Visitors pass through the design immediately as they enter the 2000 acre reserve. Native seeds were collected from the reserve by a local botanist and grown at the UC Santa Cruz Nursery into plugs. The Resident Manager, Mark Readdie, installed the native plugs as per William Joyce Design’s specifications. There was a 95% survival rate for these nearly unmaintained starter plants after the first year because the plugs were direct descendants of the very native plants that thrive here naturally. Though this project seems almost too natural to be designed, it sends a message of utilizing appropriate plants for the location and allows interpreters to learn about the ecological processes contributing to design. Please check back each year for updated photos of how this garden naturally transforms itself.
Photo Credit: Mark Readdie