S. Mark Taper Foundation
Life Science Botanic Garden
at Pierce College
History of the Garden
The idea for constructing a Mediterranean
garden on the Pierce College campus started in 1999 with the realization
that a small area of the lawn near the Life Science building
would be an ideal area for a planter demonstrating native plants.
The idea, and the area considered, grew into the entire 2 acre square
of lawn, formerly known as "the Quad". The S. Mark Taper
Foundation Life Science Botanic Garden is now open and includes a
newly installed Australian plant area, sculpture fountain, shade
structures and a wide variety of Mediterranean plants adapted for
our local climate.
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links to our donors and sponsors resources
What's in the Garden?
a Mediterranean Garden?
There are five major Mediterranean
areas of the world. In addition to the Mediterranean basin
(Spain, Italy, France and Greece), Australia, South Africa, Chile
and California share the climate of hot, dry summers and cool, moist
winters. This means that plants from our climate essentially
"shut down" during the summer drought period, and grow only during
the winter. Most plants that people try to grow in Southern
California do not come from this climate, and as a result, require
large amounts of water in the summer to keep them alive.
The Life Science Department
had several goals in making this garden: 1) to have an outdoor
botanical laboratory, demonstrating the adaptations of these specialized plants
to our biology students 2) to decrease water use on campus and to
demonstrate these drought tolerant plants to the local community
and 3) to beautify the campus and replace a very worn-out lawn.
Coastal sage scrub and chaparral plants, all native to Southern
Succulents and Cacti
Pond and riparian plants
California Channel Islands endemics
Salvias (28 species or varieties) and other bird-attracting
Butterfly plants, providing food for both caterpillar and adult
A wide range of plants from Australian and South Africa, including
the huge flowered Proteas
An "Evolution Walk" crosses the garden. This unique feature
of our garden shows the major time periods of life's history,
each section with representative fossils of that era. The walking distance
along the path will reflect the actual passage of time.
Three mission-style shade structures
A Natural Stone Amphitheater
that at first seem like an integral
of a natural landscape, but actually serves as an outdoor