2022 - Campus Clean Up

The Coral Reef Garden is a collection of desert adapted woody succulent plants installed around the USS Arizona Memorial in the middle of the University of Arizona Mall. Plants were selected based on their tolerance to heat and drought, and for their resemblance to coral reef. The heat and drought tolerant display represents a commitment to sustainable landscaping practices and serves as a customized tribute for the ship members of the USS Arizona lost in the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The garden was designed and installed by campus and community members in 2019 as an experimental alternative to the horticulturally-intensive flowering annuals previously planted there. By Spring 2022, it was clear the plants were well selected for the site as the garden planters were overgrowing their space! To support maintenance of this special garden, 8 Campus Arboretum students organized a campus clean up day which engaged 20 Dorrance Scholars as part of their orientation to the University of Arizona. The experience allowed Campus Arboretum students to connect with the Dorrance Scholars (https://dorrancescholarship.org/), and welcome them as first generation college students to our campus community.


The nearly 2 hour event occurred on July 16, 2022, one of the hottest and most humid days of the year - but despite this (and massive colonies of fire ants inhabiting the planters!) all 28 students demonstrated incredible discipline, work, ethic, good humor, respect and care for each other. The Campus Arboretum student hosts were inspiring for their leadership skill, teaching the Dorrance Scholars about the significance of the garden, how to identify plants, as well as sustainable maintenance practices, plant division, and transplanting. The Dorrance Scholars accomplished all the tasks asked of them in record time, remained until all the tools and supplies were cleaned up and then continued on for a docent guided tour of the Campus Arboretum. These vibrant and enthusiastic new wildcats deserve our greatest respect! Bear Down!








































December, 2022