Welcome to Spring!

Though much has changed in our daily lives, we look to nature and observe plants continuing to grow, birds building nests, and warmer days returning. We hope to continue to be a community resource that provides serenity, discusses interesting ideas, and showcases the astounding diversity of plants. The Botanical Garden remains open to our neighbors and the UCLA community, though our bathrooms are closed so please plan ahead. We ask visitors to practice physical distancing, and please do not visit if you, or someone you have been in contact with, is sick. While many of us are isolating at home, we are delighted to provide some fantastic virtual resources. Read on to learn more!

Natura Urbana: The Brachen of Berlin
Virtual Film Screening & Urban Ecology Panel Discussion
Friday April 17th - Sunday April 19th 

NATURA URBANA | THE BRACHEN OF BERLIN tells the post-war history of Berlin through its plants. The film takes us from the Trümmerlandschaften and their unique ecologies to the abandoned roofs of the Friedrichshagen Waterworks on the edge of the city. Encountering an extraordinary variety of spontaneous vegetation from all over the world that has sprouted along railway lines, street corners, and in the distinctive Brachen of Berlin.

In a time of physical distancing, come together to think about the similarities cities around the world share. Enjoy a personal screening of the film, followed by a recorded panel discussion exploring themes around urban ecology, landscape architecture, history, city planning, language, and more. Experts will consider how ideas from the film relate to issues in Los Angeles. Panelists will include:

This event is free, but you must RSVP to receive links to the content. These will be emailed out by Friday April 17th, so that you may enjoy at any time during the weekend in your own time zone.

Looking for Spanish-Writing Volunteers

We are currently developing educational signage to connect visitors to the ~15 major botanical collections in this living museum. To make these signs welcoming to as many Angelenos as possible, we are seeking help in making them bilingual in Spanish. If you can translate English to Spanish and are looking for a way to give back in this time of physical distancing, we would love your support! each paragraph is only about 85 words each. If you are interested in this project, please email Jules ( to learn more!
Thank You Joan!

After many many years of service to the Botanical Garden, we offer a resounding THANK YOU to Garden Manager Joan Muench as she transitions out of this role. Joan began as a volunteer herself, and put many years of love into building a robust and welcoming space for students and community members to explore gardening and the therapeutic benefits it provides. We will miss her smile and thoughtfulness, though she isn't far away and says she'll visit often. We hope you enjoy a little more time in your home garden and visiting botanical gardens around the world. Thanks Joan!

California Native Plant Gardening with
Theodore Payne Foundation

Spring is here! California native plants are blanketing the landscape in a vibrant, colorful array of flowers. Are you looking for ways to stay connected to nature despite COVID-19? Our friends at the Theodore Payne Foundation have you covered! Gardening is a great activity to relieve stress and engage the whole family. Including California native plants helps support the local ecosystem by providing much needed habitat for animals and reducing water use. It’s the perfect time of year to add California native plants to your garden! Use the new Plant Takeout System to order plants and seeds for safe pickup at the Theodore Payne Foundation nursery today.

Explore the Nature in Your Neighborhood
Become a Community Scientist!


Though much has changed recently in our daily lives, nature continues to grow and move throughout the city of Los Angeles. Take the 2020 City Nature Challenge (April 24-27) and see your city with new eyes. Become a community scientist and help collect data about the extraordinary biodiversity here! You can participate individually or with your family, and it is a great way to connect to the nature in your neighborhood during this time of physical distancing. Bird watch from your balcony. Notice what’s growing by your sidewalk. Observe nature in LA. Check out these video tutorials to get started with iNaturalist. The City Nature Challenge is organized by the Natural History Museum of LA County and California Academy of Sciences. Participation in the City Nature Challenge and the iNaturalist app are completely free. RSVP for this event to receive a helpful reminder email about the challenge. We urge all participants to carefully follow public health guidelines provided by our local governments, as they are changing in real-time. Individual safety and public health are our utmost priority. Please refer to the COVID-19 FAQ page for more information.

Newton's Apple Tree

A unique tree came into our collection last year and we have waited to announce it until it appeared to take root in the Garden. The Newton Apple sapling is a grafted cutting from the apple tree (Malus domestica) that helped inspire Sir Isaac Newton's understanding of universal gravitation. The cutting comes from the tree which still exists in Newton's garden at Woolsthorpe Manor in England. We would like to thank Alexander W. Astin, Professor Emeritus & Founding Director Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA, for their gift of this special tree. It is located on the main path near the Conifers and the entrance at Hilgard and Le Conte. 
Virtual Resources for Practicing Mindfulness

The Garden is a serene space where many Bruins and community members come to relax and reconnect. In this strange and stressful time, mindfulness practices are more important than ever. Many of these can be practiced in your home, neighborhood, or the Garden while you physically distance. Check out a few free online resources to explore tools for managing stress:
• UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center guided mindfulness meditations

• Berkeley Greater Good In Action walking mediation guide
• Association of Nature & Forest Therapy virtual forest therapy walks 
Support the Garden

Each day, the UCLA Botanical Garden is free for the public to relax, reconnect with nature, and explore the incredible world of plants. Philanthropic support allows us to maintain collections, pursue plant conservation projects, and provide free educational programs. Membership, naming opportunities and planned gifts ensure a sustainable future for this urban oasis. For more information, check out our website or contact:
Nina Devries, Associate Director of Development for UCLA College Life Sciences: 310-912-8972
Copyright © 2020 UCLA Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden, All rights reserved.

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