Last Friday, we got down and dirty for Valentine’s Day. No, not in that way. The members of the Mills community, including myself, got our hands dirty gardening and taking care of Leona Creek for Creek Care Day.
Alongside Mills students, Sustainability Coordinator Britta Bullard, and Michelle De Sousa Moore, Area Coordinator for Residential Life, were also in attendance.
While I was taking photos of the Toyon berries, Britta asked me if I’ve heard of the ‘Hollywood story.’
She then regaled me with how the berries in Hollywood were mistaken as the berries found in holly plants, which people use for Christmas decorations. It was also how Hollywood got its name but it turned out that the berries were actually Toyon. Had that been known earlier, “Hollywood” would have been known as “Toyonwood.” I commented on how it was very similar to when Columbus first arrived to the Americas and named the indigenous people “Indians,” believing he had found a better and faster route to India.
Britta also gave me suggestions on what to take photos of. The Toyon berries happened to be one of them. There were also these snowberries, named for how the berries look like snow dangling off a plant. Not so fast though, they’re actually not edible.
Britta later said she hoped to continue the tradition where graduating classes would put ribbons in their class color on plants native to Mills campus. That explains why there are red ribbons on so many of the plants by Leona Creek because the previous Class of 2013 had tied them there.
After taking photos for a while, I decided to join everyone else in mulching, a process of mixing mulch with the soil surrounding a particular plant.
Let me tell you, it is a lot of work. It may not seem that way to mulch for one plant but when there are many, mulching is quite the workout. There were even some volunteers, who suggested that mulching and pulling out the weeds around Leona Creek should be a P.E. class.
Good thing I was planning to treat myself to a lot of chocolate later that day.
Many thanks to Britta who helped me identify the plants and participants in my photos.
For more photos, take a look at the Flickr album below.