Oki Family Horticultural Endowment
The Oki Family Horticultural Endowment was established to honor the Oki Family, innovators in the horticultural industry and pioneers in the California containerized nursery, as well as, greenhouse and bedding plant production. The efforts of the Oki Family Horticultural Endowment in partnership with the California Center for Urban Horticulture at UC Davis is to bring awareness of backyard gardening and horticultural education to local youth. To read more about the Oki Family, see this wonderful story published by the Japanese Americans in the Produce & Floral Industry Facebook group in February 2018.
Student Field Trips
Every year the Oki Family Endowment Fund hosts a few of the annual "Kids in the Garden Spring Field Trips” at the UC Davis Eco Garden led by students at UC Davis and Garden Program Director, Carol Hillhouse. This hands-on experience gives elementary age children a chance to explore, discover, and play to find a better appreciation for the outdoors. The field trips to the Eco Garden, which began in 2014, involve a variety of activities to demonstrate the benefits of maintaining a garden and engage young students in outdoor learning. The students have the opportunity to meet chickens, learn how to compost, pick their own food, make their own fragrant herbal bouquets, dissect flowers, study pollinators, and many more opportunities to understand fundamental biological and ecological processes. The garden even provides the students an opportunity to see every stage of butterfly metamorphosis from the caterpillar to the chrysalis. The biggest lessons for these youngsters are how plants, animals, and humans are all connected and encourages the importance of land stewardship through a variety of games. Thanks to Barbara Butler, 4th grade teacher of Westmore Oaks, who also manages the Westmore Oaks Garden in West Sacramento, Carol Hillhouse and her team at the UCD Student Farm, and the generous gift from the Oki Family Endowment Fund that continues to ensure these kids have an educational and inspiring time at the farm!