SAGE is hosting a presentation about the UC Riverside Botanical Gardens

SAGE is hosting a presentation about the UC Riverside Botanical Gardens

Dr. Judy Holt. Valley News/Photo courtesy

The SAGE Society of Hemet will give a presentation on UC Riverside Botanical Gardens: A Natural Oasis in the Inland Empire on Tuesday, February 13. Presenter will be Dr. Judy Holt, director of the University of California, Riverside Botanical Gardens.

The UCR Botanical Garden began as a small research and teaching garden on the new UC Riverside campus and has just celebrated its 60th anniversary. From a bare, hilly, rocky plot of land, the forty-acre Botanical Gardens have grown to include a curated collection of more than 3,500 species and 10,000 specimens, themed and geographically themed gardens, buildings, trails, a plant nursery, and more. This presentation will describe the importance of gardens and shrubs around the world, the history of the UCR Botanic Gardens and current programs to engage visitors, members and volunteers in horticulture, outdoor education and appreciation of nature.

The UCR Botanical Gardens showcases geographical gardens from the Mediterranean climate and desert regions of the world, and due to their topography and microclimate, they also include a grove of redwood trees on the California coast.

Many commercial citrus varieties, including most oranges and tangerines, have been developed by citrus researchers at the UCLA College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. The gardens are also a wildlife sanctuary, and new bobcats are spotted each spring by committed staff, volunteers and visitors.

Dr. Judy Holt became Director of the UC Riverside Botanical Gardens upon her retirement in 2016 after serving as a UC Riverside professor for more than 30 years. She grew up in Georgia and always planned to become a mathematician until she fell in love with her first botany class, then earned a bachelor’s degree in botany from the University of Georgia. She moved to California for graduate school and received her master’s and doctorate degrees in botany from UC Davis.

During her career at UCLA, Judy managed a research program on the ecology of invasive weeds, supervised numerous students, served as chair of the Department of Botany and Plant Sciences and retired as dean of the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources. She has taught graduate and undergraduate courses including over 20 years teaching her favorite subject, botany, and in 2008 won a UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award.

In her spare time, she engages in botanical consulting, most notably in relation to the movie Avatar and related products.

Judy will share with us how becoming a Garden Director gave her the opportunity to combine her passions for botany, outdoor education, people skills, mathematics, philanthropy, and more into a stimulating “second career.” She and her staff have transformed a struggling park into a beloved natural oasis in the Inland Empire, learning valuable skills in the process.

Join us on February 13, at 1:30pm for our social, and 2:00pm for this presentation. The public is welcome to attend. The viewing will take place in the Ramona Room behind Miller Jones Mortuary, located at 1501 West Florida Street in Hemet. Parking at the back.

The SAGE Society of Hemet (Seeking Adventure in Higher Education) provides a forum for people to participate in intellectually stimulating programs and activities.

Presented by the SAGE Society of Hemet.

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