Sausalito Team Wins Haagen-Dazs-UC Davis Honey Bee Haven Design Competition

February 26, 2009

DAVIS, Calif., Feb. 26 /PRNewswire/ — It’s a honey of a garden, the
judges unanimously agreed.

The Sausalito-based Sibbett Group created a series of interconnected
gardens with such names as “Honeycomb Hideout,” “Nectar Nook” and “Pollinator
Patch” to win the international bee-friendly garden design competition, a gift
to the University of California, Davis, from the Haagen-Dazs(R) brand.
The design, the work of landscape architects Donald Sibbett and Ann F. Baker,
interpretative planner Jessica Brainard and exhibit designer Chika Kurotaki,
will be brought to life this summer on a half-acre site at the Harry H.
Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility on Bee Biology Road on the UC Davis

Last December Haagen-Dazs ice cream committed $125,000 to the UC Davis
Department of Entomology, with $65,000 earmarked for the garden. The
Haagen-Dazs brand and UC Davis will determine how to use the balance of the

The key goals of the garden are to provide bees with a year-round food
source, to raise public awareness about the plight of honey bees and to
encourage visitors to plant bee-friendly gardens of their own.

“We’ll not only be providing a pollen and nectar source for the millions
of bees on Bee Biology Road, but we will also be demonstrating the beauty and
value of pollinator gardens,” said design competition coordinator Melissa
“Missy” Borel
, program manager for the California Center for Urban
Horticulture. “My hope is that it will inspire everyone to plant for

“The winning design fits beautifully with the campus mission of education
and outreach, and it will tremendously benefit our honey bees at Bee Biology,”
said Lynn Kimsey, professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology
and director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology. “The garden will be a campus

Kimsey served as one of eight judges who unanimously selected the design
from among 30 entries, submitted from as far away as England. The winning team
will be honored at the garden dedication in October, where they will be
presented with an engraved name plaque . They will also be given the sweet
reward of free Haagen-Dazs ice cream for a year.

“We had so many wonderful garden concepts submitted that making the final
choice was really difficult,” Kimsey said.

The Sibbett Group design zeroed in on sustainability and visitor
experience. The four interconnected gardens, “Honeycomb Hideout,” “Nectar
Nook,” “Pollinator Patch” and “My Backyard” form the “physical and
interpretive framework for our honey bee haven design,” the authors said. A
series of trails connect the gardens. Trellises define the entry ways and
reinforce the passage to the next space.

“Incorporated into each of the four sections are gathering spaces that
serve as orientation points for guided tours, facilitated programs and ‘chat
time’ with beekeepers and entomologists,” the team explained. Identification
labels will help visitors know more about the plants, or what they can plant
in their own yards.

The design also includes a “Learning Center” building and paths labeled
“Orchard Alley,” “Save the Bee Sanctuary,” “Round Dance Circle” and “Waggle
Dance Way.”

Judges initially narrowed the 30 designs to six, and then focused on
diversity (the winning design has 40 different plants), bloom balance, vision,
generational learning, cost feasibility and attention to detail. Judges also
declared the Sibbett Group design “the most river or

In addition to Borel and Kimsey, the panel of judges included:

David Fujino, executive director, California Center for Urban Horticulture
at UC Davis; Aaron Majors, construction department manager, Cagwin & Dorward
Landscape Contractors, based in Novato; Diane McIntyre, senior public
relations manager, Haagen-Dazs ice cream; Heath Schenker, professor of
environmental design, UC Davis; Jacob Voit, sustainability manager and
construction project manager, Cagwin and Dorward Landscape Contractors; and

Kathy Keatley Garvey, communications specialist, UC Davis Department of

Schenker praised the Sibbett Group design as “beautiful and very
functional.” “The interpretive elements are imaginative,” said Schenker. “I
think this design team has a great range of expertise and has taken a very
well-rounded approach to the program.”

Majors said the cost estimate was well organized and the cost of materials
very realistic. “The introduction outlined how the design was scalable which
shows the collaborative approach of the four-person team and their willingness
to work with budget,” he said.

Honey bees pollinate more than 100 different U.S. agricultural crops,
valued at $15 billion. However, in recent years, the nation’s beekeepers have
reported losing from one-third to all of their bees due to a mysterious
phenomenon known as colony collapse disorder.

In response, the Haagen-Dazs brand launched the “Haagen-Dazs Loves Honey
Bees” campaign in February 2008, committing a total $250,000 donation for bee
research to UC Davis and Pennsylvania State University, and redoubled its
efforts in 2009 with a second $250,000 donation, bringing the brand’s total
donation for honey bee research to a half million dollars. It also formed a
scientific advisory Bee Board, created an educational Web site and introduced
the new Vanilla Honey Bee ice cream flavor. Bees are crucial to nearly
50 percent of their all-natural flavors.

During the last several months, the public has answered the Haagen-Dazs
brand’s call to action by donating more than $30,000 to support additional
honey bee research at UC Davis. In addition, numerous companies have launched
programs to donate a portion of their proceeds to UC Davis honey bee research.

SOURCE University of California, Davis

Source: newswire

comments powered by Disqus