California Avenue Rain Garden Garden Demonstration Project
University of California, Davis
During the Spring of 2015, UC Davis Landscape Architecture students began the installation of a green street stormwater retrofit along California Avenue at the west side of Robbins Hall. The project, led by lecturer Kevin Robert Perry, ASLA, converted 1,000 square feet of conventional lawn into both a rain garden and drought-tolerant landscape. Our hard working students removed the turfgrass, excavated soil, graded the rain garden, installed a drip irrigation system and concrete paver pathway, and completed a first-phase planting in the course of 10 weeks. Recently, UCD campus ground crews installed a trench drain to intercept stormwater runoff from the gutter of California Avenue and allow it to enter the rain garden before it reaches the storm drain system. The project exemplifies a basic green infrastructure strategy to retain shallow amounts of runoff within the landscape so that it can be slowed, cleaned, and allowed to soak into the soil where it can ultimately help replenish our aquifers. Realizing the projects like California Avenue are great opportunities for students to gain more “hands-on” experience in installing simple green infrastructure projects and allow the community to see first-hand simple green infrastructure retrofit implementation.