By Jennifer Truong
It is Week 3 of Spring Quarter, and the ART on ART Team has been putting their mini-projects into action! I decided to base my mini-project on the work of the Native/Drought Tolerant Plants Team from 2010. One of their recommendations was to plant specific species that would be aesthetically and practically acceptable at the entrance sign in the intersection of Hilgard and Wyton: blue fescue, blue agave, and aeonium sunbursts. I walked on over to the site to see how many of these species were planted in 2010, if they were still there, and if any additional species were added.
The original plan from the final report had the majority of the area filled with blue fescue; only tiny fractions were set aside for the aeonium sunburst and the agave. True to their word, I was overwhelmed by at least 250 clumps of blue fescue present during my visit. While many of the grassy clumps retained their pale blue hue, some of the blue fescues looked almost dead.
One detail in the team’s final report was that the team used Agave attenuata for the site instead of the blue agave in their recommendation. I counted at least 15 agaves in the area, more than the original four plants in the team’s original blueprint. It was admirable to see how much they have grown within the last four years.
Unlike the Agave attenuata, the aeonium sunbursts were nowhere to be found. They were originally planted, according to the team’s final report, but their areas were taken over by the blue fescues.
Despite the plants that have come and gone, the area stayed the same in terms of the number of species present. However, it is clear that the ART team’s work may have had some positive influence on campus landscaping. For instance, Agave attenuata, along with many other native species, can be found near the Court of Sciences. This fact made me realize that there are ways I can take my observational study further. For now, one site is good enough for my mini-project.