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Native Hill

Native HillNative Hill is the name for a native plant garden at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills. It was started in 1982 by Robert Will, horticulture instructor at the college and chapter president 1981- 83 and state president 1984-86. He started the collection to teach students native plant identification and care.

Chapter volunteers have expanded and improved the collection ever since. In 1991 Don Brandeau and Mary Kaye, both design professionals and chapter members, created a unified planting design. The College added irrigation as well as removed blue gum eucalyptus, frozen in 1990, through agreement with Mal Leal, director of operations at Foothill. The native plants responded to the tree removal with improved vigor.

160 species of natives planted on this hill bring tremendous educational and aesthetic benefits. The community TV station on campus made a video featuring the garden in 1994. Channel 6 had a half hour show on it in 1999. The SJ Mercury News had a full-page article on Native Hill in the weekend edition in 1993.

Today the plants at Native Hill are used by faculty and students from Horticulture and Biology departments. A faculty member coordinates the activities at Native Hill.

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