California Avenue Rain Garden
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 and designer Kevin Robert Perry, FASLA, used Tactical Green Infrastructure to convert 1,000 square feet of conventional lawn into both a rain garden and drought-tolerant landscape. UC Davis SLGI 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. UC Davis Campus Grounds crews installed a trench drain that intercepts stormwater runoff from the gutter of California Avenue and allows 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. Projects like the California Avenue Rain Garden are great opportunities for students to gain more “hands-on” experience in installing simple green infrastructure projects and allows the community to see first-hand simple green infrastructure retrofit implementation.