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4/14/18: We drove to Davis, a city 17 miles west of Sacramento. We had Chinese food for lunch. There were many Chinese students from the University of California at Davis eating & working there. We drove around downtown Davis. It was lively, but not very charming. We went to the UC Davis Arboretum. It was very nice, covering 100 acres along the banks of Putah Creek, old north channel. Fortunately, it was mostly shaded, because it was sunny & warm that day.
Putah Creek flows 85 miles from the eastern slope of Cobb Mountain in the Coast Range to the Sacramento River. The name comes from Miwok people who lived near the creek. Puṭa wuwwe is said to mean grassy creek. Putah Creek flowed through the old north channel until it was redirected south in 1871.
The UC Davis Arboretum was founded in 1936. The arboretum’s collections include 22,000 trees and plants adapted to the local climate. The property is open to the public with walking & biking trails, picnic areas & wildlife viewing. The arboretum can be entered in many places. It is used for research by UC Davis faculty, students & others. It supports teaching at UC Davis with courses in many different disciplines using the arboretum. The arboretum has more than 20 different gardens featuring plants from California & countries with similar summer-dry climates across the globe. Visitors can learn about best practices in sustainable horticulture.
For thousands of years, this land has been the home of Patwin people, neighbors of the Miwok people. The Patwin people have remained committed to the stewardship of this land. The UC Davis campus is Patwin land & remains an important part of Patwin heritage & identity. The Native American Contemplative Garden recognizes this.