Paint the Regional Landscape with Native California Flora

UC Davis Giving Out Flower Seeds in Experiment

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California golden poppies, on campus
Through a UC Davis program, folks in the region can pick up wildflower seeds and spread them around their towns. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis)

There might soon be more native California poppies, lupines and sunflowers popping up along streets and sidewalks in the region.

The University of California, Davis, Department of Human Ecology has teamed up with local nonprofit Miridae Living Labs, which uses native plants and insects as tools for education and research, to launch the “Seed Pile Project.’’

The project is a community initiative that aims to find out which native plant seeds are best at dispersing in cities, roadsides, alleyways and other places they may naturally fall. 

Painting the region with flowers is the brainchild of Haven Kiers, assistant professor in landscape architecture and environmental design, and Billy Krimmel, who earned his doctoral degree in ecology from UC Davis and is co-founder of Miridae Living Labs. 

They invite volunteers from Davis, West Sacramento and Sacramento to drop small piles of native seed mixes in random spaces where they live or work and monitor which species succeed and under what conditions.

Where to get seeds

You can pick up seed packets for free at a couple of local spots including Explorit Science Center in Davis, the Sierra 2 Center in Sacramento, and at the Miridae Mobile Nursery, a curbside native plant pop-up shop. 

“The idea is that anyone can do it — adults, kids, teachers, college students,” Kiers said. “And we want people to be like ‘heck yea, I want to do this because it’s really fun.’”

This blog highlights and summarizes an initial article by Tiffany Dobbyn, Read the full article here.  

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