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July 21, 1997

Packard Foundation supports UCSC Arboretum with $309,757 grant

One of the Arboretum's many botanical treasures.

By Robert Irion

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation of Los Altos has granted $309,757 to the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum, home to some of the world's finest collections of plants from the Southern Hemisphere and California.

The Packard Foundation will award the grant over the next three years to help the Arboretum sustain its activities at a time when state funding sources are dwindling. During the grant period, Arboretum staff will work with the Packard Foundation's Organizational Effectiveness Program to devise plans for the Arboretum's long-term financial self-sufficiency.

"This generous support from the Packard Foundation will help UCSC preserve one of its most remarkable assets," said Thomas Vani, vice chancellor for Business and Administrative Services at UCSC. "We feel confident that the Arboretum will thrive in the coming years, and we look forward to working with the Packard Foundation to help us create a plan to achieve that goal."

The Arboretum will seek new funding sources from memberships, private donations, expanded gift and plant sales, fees for classes and other on-site events, and major contributions to help build a permanent endowment, Vani said.

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, created in 1964, supports and encourages organizations that depend on private funding and volunteer leadership. It awards grants to programs in the arts, community, marine biology, environment, population, education, and children's health.

The Packard Foundation's support of programs at UCSC now totals more than $3.3 million, noted Dan Aldrich, assistant chancellor for University Advancement. In addition to the Arboretum, the foundation's largest gifts to UCSC have bolstered the Institute of Marine Sciences, the planned Marine Discovery Center at Long Marine Laboratory, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, and the research of three consecutive recipients of the foundation's $500,000 fellowships in science and engineering.

"We are very fortunate to have this latest interest and support from the Packard Foundation as UCSC strives to serve the people of the Monterey Bay region and the state with this world-renowned botanical treasure," Aldrich said.

The UCSC Arboretum, established on rough pastures in 1967, spreads over 130 acres between the campus's main and west entrances. It features the largest display of Australian plants outside of that country, plus major collections from New Zealand and South Africa. California natives and plants from the Pacific Rim abound as well. Horticulturists have focused on drought-tolerant and pest-resistant flowers, shrubs, and trees that fare well in California's special climate.

In addition to its striking collections, the Arboretum has become an important source of new plants for the state's horticultural industry and for private gardeners. It also plays a key role in preserving and cultivating endangered plants.

Professor Ray T. Collett, the Arboretum's director since its inception, has nurtured the site with a small, dedicated staff of managers and horticulturists. Collett has received several recent honors recognizing his work, including the California Horticultural Society's Annual Award for 1997 and the California Association of Nurserymen's 1997 Research Award.

"A grant of this size is most helpful to the Arboretum," said Collett. "It is especially significant to us that an organization the caliber of the Packard Foundation has recognized our efforts with this assistance."

Visitors are welcome at the Arboretum daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., year-round. The sights and smells change with the seasons, but a typical visitor might encounter:

Visitors also may join the Arboretum Associates, a community support group that sponsors plant sales, slide shows, workshops, classes, and other programs.

Tours for schools and groups are available by appointment. For more information, call the Arboretum at (408) 427-2998.

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