UCSC Greenhouses Restoration Program

Students with tree seedlingsStudents holding tree seedlings grown at UCSC Greenhouses from seeds collected from native campus plants.

UCSC Greenhouses offers opportunities for student to get directly involved in campus restoration. We grow thousands of plants annually and sponsor interns, independent study projects and volunteers for various conservation efforts on campus. We work with the Site Stewardship Program and their efforts to restore native habitat, campus gardeners using natives as a water conservation strategy, Physical Planning and Construction in their efforts to use local native plants in the landscape and with UC Reserves in their effort to restore coastal prairie on the the coastal bluff at UCSC Long Marine Lab. We put an emphasis on maintaining the genetic integrity of the UCSC campus ecosystem.

This program is supported by the Division of Physical and Biological Sciences, the Division of Social Sciences, UCSC Campus Grounds Services and UC Natural Reserves. If you are interested in doing work in this area, contact Jim Velzy at jhvelzy@ucsc.edu.

Reserves restoration

UC Reserves

Students working with the UC Natural Reserves at Younger Lagoon Reserve transplanting seedlings at the UCSC Greenhouses

The UCSC Natural Reserves offers internships in restoration throughout the year. Under the supervision of Reserve staff, student interns participate in a wide variety of tasks, including native seed collection, propagation, invasive plant removal, and re-vegetation of natural reserve lands with native plants. Much of the propagation work for this program takes place at the UCSC Greenhouses. Thousands of local native plants are grown at the UCSC Greenhouses each year through this program.

The University of California Natural Reserve System (NRS) is a unique assemblage of 36 protected wild land sites throughout California. The reserves encompass nearly all of the state’s major ecosystems, preserved in as undisturbed a condition as possible to support University-level research and teaching programs.

The four Natural Reserve sites that form the UC Santa Cruz unit are spread along 60 miles of the central coast: Año Nuevo Island Reserve (25 acres), Landels-Hill Big Creek Reserve (4,200 acres), Fort Ord Natural Reserve (606 acres), and Younger Lagoon Reserve (73 acres). There is also a campus reserve, the UCSC Campus Natural Reserve (400 acres). Each reserve has unique research and teaching opportunities, including undergraduate internships in restoration.

If you are interested in interning with the UCSC Natural Reserves, contact the Field Manager of Younger Lagoon Reserve, Elizabeth Howard at eahoward@ucsc.edu."

Site Stewardship Program

Students working with the UCSC Site Stewardship Program grow plants at UCSC Greenhouses for reestablishment on UCSC campus lands. The students in the picture to the right are doing a planting at the Marine Science Campus next to Younger Lagoon.

  Planting at Beach
The Site Stewardship Program organizes a team of interns and volunteers to take on ecological restoration and guardianship for sensitive natural areas within the UCSC campus. The program seeks to alleviate the impact that university growth is having on the landscape of the campus. The result of past natural resource extraction and university build-out has caused habitat destruction, invasion of non-native species, and soil erosion.

Students can gain field work experience by interning with the Site Stewardship Program. Interns perform a combination of ecological restoration, public outreach, interpretation, and education. Projects interns could work on include population monitoring, vegetative mapping, invasive plant removal, native seed collection, baseline data collection, revegetation, erosion control, and developing outreach materials.

If you are interested in becoming an intern or a volunteer, please email grounds_interns@ucsc.edu.