Tree Davis Memorial Grove
We Want to Hear From You!
Ever since it was constructed in 2001, the greenbelt south of University Retirement Community (URC) has been designated as the Tree Davis Memorial Grove. Originally intended as a site for memorial and commemorative tree plantings, Tree Davis found over the ensuing decades that many of the park’s shrub plantings were excessively vigorous and not compatible with healthy tree growth. Starting in 2019, Tree Davis began an initiative to renovate the grove as a “Climate-Ready Landscape” pilot project, that transitions conventional landscape shrub plantings to native and drought tolerant species with a greater likelihood of thriving in our changing climate. New plantings have been selected for their beauty, wildlife habitat value, and compatibility with the growth of young trees. New tree plantings have focused on climate-ready selections that have proven heat and drought tolerance.
Landscape renovations began in 2019, focusing first on overgrown shrub areas. As drought conditions have worsened, Tree Davis has worked with the City of Davis to identify underutilized turf areas to convert to Climate-Ready Landscapes. Conversion of turf areas will conserve water, increase wildlife habitat, and open up space for the planting of more Climate-Ready trees. Because turf conversions also have the potential to change recreational use patterns of the greenbelt, we are seeking feedback from residents living near the greenbelt and others who use the space regularly.
Participate in a community meeting to provide your input on the proposed renovations:
- Saturday, Sep. 10th, 10am-12pm – Drop-in Neighborhood Meeting in the Memorial Grove, 1517 Shasta Dr
- Wednesday, Sep. 21st, 6:30pm – City of Davis Recreation and Park Commission Meeting, Community Chambers, City Hall, 23 Russell Blvd
Read on to learn more about the Tree Davis Memorial Grove and Climate-Ready Landscapes.
The Tree Davis Memorial Tree Grove was constructed 20 years ago when the University Retirement Community (URC) was built at 1515 Shasta Drive. The 1.4-acre site contains 61 Memorial trees and a welded steel sculpture containing small plaques for each person/tree, located in the center of the site. The sculpture currently has space for additional plaques, and Tree Davis is accepting donations for additional memorial trees. Trees have been planted along decomposed granite trails that meander along a beautiful cobble-lined stream bed. The site includes irrigated turf and climate-ready tree and shrub species. Overgrown shrubs that threatened the maturing trees have been removed and four mini-groves have been created with three more planned.
Plantings in the Memorial Tree Grove positively impact about 500 senior citizens who live adjacent to the Grove at URC and Shasta Point, an affordable housing facility. Seniors are particularly vulnerable to physical and mental health threats, and the Grove provides a beautiful area for residents to walk through, or sit and enjoy. Residents of nearby Evergreen Meadows Neighborhood live adjacent to Highway 113 and are exposed to associated air and noise pollutant loads. By creating a shaded and scenic greenspace that is within a quarter-mile of these at-risk demographics, the Grove is a pathway to both physical and mental health protection and chronic disease prevention.
Tree Davis is mobilizing volunteers to create Climate-Ready Landscape designs, remove existing shrubs, install new plantings, apply mulch, and provide establishment watering as needed. Tree Davis and the City of Davis are working cooperatively to manage the site.
Climate Ready Landscapes
Climate-Ready Landscapes combine drought-tolerant groundcovers, shrubs, and trees to combat climate change, save water, create wildlife habitat, restore biodiversity, promote human health, and ensure that future generations will benefit from healthy greenspaces. Species are selected to attract pollinators and other wildlife, provide year-round visual interest, require little water or maintenance, and resist pests. By converting traditional turf and shrub landscapes into Climate-Ready Landscapes, we reduce reliance on:
- Regular irrigation
- Frequent mowing, weeding, pruning, and shearing
- Fertilizer, herbicide, and pesticide applications.
Climate-Ready Landscapes improve the viability and resiliency of landscapes in the face of climate change by providing:
- Heat and drought tolerant, pest-resistant plant selections
- Plant species that are native or adapted to the region
- Canopy cover for reduced urban heat island
- Stormwater capture and management
- Carbon storage in tree/shrub biomass and the soil
- Wildlife habitat value and biodiversity conservation
- Aesthetic value and enhanced human wellness
During Fall, 2021, Tree Davis replicated the Wolk Grove Climate-Ready Landscape in the nearby Generations’ Grove. The 75 ft x 170 ft area is on the southeast side of the Memorial Grove near Shasta Drive. Over 200 native understory plants and 13 trees were planted to create a rich and diverse habitat for pollinators and wildlife. The plant species were specially selected for spring flowering and fall foliage color, as well as drought and pest tolerance.
Climate-Ready Landscapes are catalyzing strategic partnerships to plant and steward parks in local neighborhoods to combat climate change, save water, create wildlife habitat, restore biodiversity, promote human health, and ensure that future generations will benefit from healthy greenspaces. Tree Davis is engaging city staff, landscape professionals, residents, schools, and other groups in the planning and management process, creating a series of demonstration sites.
Lois Wolk has dedicated her career to public service and stewarding the environment. Having served in numerous civic leadership roles, from Mayor of the City of Davis to California State Senator, she has been a stalwart advocate of urban forestry, urban greening, and climate change mitigation. As a founding member of Tree Davis, she helped create the public-nonprofit partnership that still thrives today, engaging community members in enhancing and expanding the urban forest.
Lois Wolk’s accomplishments include:
- Co-Founder, Tree Davis
- First female chair for California Assembly Committe on Water, Parks, and Wildlife
- Author of Senate Bill 1386 in 2016, which requires all state agencies to consider the greenhouse gas reduction value of natural and working lands (including urban forestry) when revising, adopting, or establishing policies and regulations.
In the fall of 2019, Tree Davis began work on a new mini-grove to honor Lois Wolk. They began by clearing shrubs, grinding stumps, and applying mulch to a 30 ft x 50 ft area on the north side of the Memorial Grove near the University Retirement Community. A resident meeting was held to share Climate-Ready Landscape designs and gather input. The meeting was noticed with flyers in the park, in mailbox areas, and at the URC as well as through City of Davis social media. About a dozen neighboring residents attended, provided positive comments, and expressed interest in planting and stewardship. Tree Davis continues to partner with city staff, engage with the community, and perform outreach to solicit feedback and recruit volunteers.
In October 2020, the area was planted with over 100 native and drought tolerant understory plants, creating pollinator and wildlife habitat. An Atlas blue cedar (Cedrus atlantica ‘Glauca’) and strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo) were also planted.
During spring 2021 a tree planting and virtual dedication event was held to recognize Lois Wolk’s many contributions to urban forestry in Davis and California. A cork oak (Quercus suber) tree was planted, and a plaque was dedicated in her honor.
Support Our Vision
Tree Davis is requesting your support to make this vision a reality. With your assistance, we can replicate the Climate-Ready Landscape conversions we are undertaking in the Tree Davis Memorial Grove in landscapes throughout Davis and the region.
We need your support to:
- Purchase plants – about $2,000-3,000 for each mini-grove
- Create signs that explain water savings and other benefits of the projects – $1,000
- Pay for weekly summer watering during establishment by our Specialists – $2,000
Options for giving include:
- $10,000+ – A large sign for the Grove along Shasta Drive
- $5,000 – Naming rights for one of the three newly proposed turf conversion groves, which includes a stone with your name and logo on the plaque, as per the Wolk Grove
- $1,000 – Memorial Tree includes a tree and plaque with an inscription of your choice on the central sculpture
Your contribution will be recognized on the Tree Davis website, as well as at the Tree Davis Legacy Celebration to honor our important donors and Tribute Tree partners. Additionally, you can feel great about having a positive impact in your local community, helping to fight climate change, and restoring biodiversity to our landscapes.
Click the Donate button below to help support Tree Davis.