Hidden Gems: Creekside Educational Garden

The Creekside Educational Garden is quite the hidden gem due to its location behind Colusa Hall. Directly south of Big Chico Creek sits an 8,000-square-foot section of land that has been set aside for this special project.

The project began in the spring of 2011 as the third part to the larger Creekside Plaza Landscape Project. Numerous faculty and department members, as well as the Mechoopda Indian tribe, worked together to create a garden using plant species that are historically found adjacent to riparian areas for this geographical zone. Such species include the California Poppy, the Valley Oak, and the Western Redbud.

Located throughout the garden are small informational markers, which give specific information for each plant, including the common name, the scientific proper name, and other interesting facts. There are also a few larger signs that map out the multitude of plants scattered throughout the garden.

The walkway, winding along with the garden, was inspired by Big Chico Creek, which sits only a few feet away. The overall aesthetic of this section of campus is soothing and reaffirms our strong connection with nature in Chico.

Recently, artists have applied to create a beautiful piece of public art for the garden. Three of the qualified artists have been chosen and are now working to develop project proposals, from which one will be selected. The installation of the selected piece will begin in the spring of 2012 and is scheduled to be finished by May.

If you have a spare moment or want to take a different route to class, meander over to the Creekside Educational Garden to soak in the calm environment and possibly learn a thing or two about plant species that are native to Chico.

This post is part of a recurring theme, Hidden Gems of Chico State.

The piece is also featured in the latest issue of Inside Chico State.

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