UC Davis offers a diverse arboretum along Putah Creek, though it is technically on the edge of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta proper. The garden winds along the south side of campus from the Veterinary college to the edge of downtown. The newest section is under construction and is called the Gateway Garden. It starts behind the shopping center at 1st and D street (the center with Whole Foods and Gap). Today the new “Shovel Gateway” was dedicated after some months of construction. Members of the Davis community donated the shovels and the artist, Christopher Fennell.
It makes for a striking entrance to a great walk or bike ride through the peaceful series of gardens from Australian flora to native oaks. The UC Davis Arboretum is well supported by the community and offers a teaching nursery and interpretive education on plants and gardening. They have a great number of special events and several plant sale days in the Spring and Fall.
If you find yourself on campus for an event or conference, take the time to see the pubic art on display. Among my favorites is Robert Arneson’s egghead series, including this one in front of the administration building Mrak Hall.