USD To Dedicate Garden to Kumeyaay Nation

SAN DIEGO: The University of San Diego has announced the dedication of a garden to honor the history and contributions of the Kumeyaay Nation.

On Friday, September 22, 2017 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., the USD, in conjunction with the Office of Tribal Liaison, will dedicate the garden and public art piece located immediately north of the University Center bordering the south ridge of Tecolote Canyon as the Kumeyaay Garden. The event will take place in the garden and the Tecolote Patio.


In celebrating Native American culture, the event will include bird songs, storytelling, ethnobotany tours, Kumeyaay cultural activities, and an art exhibition. Hands-on activities include basket making, Kumeyaay games, and smoothies made with ingredients gathered from plants indigenous to Southern California. The purpose of this dedication is to create a space that recognizes the importance of USD’s location on the traditional territory of the Kumeyaay Nation and honors indigenous plants used by the Kumeyaay people.


Originally named the Tecolote Memorial Garden, the area was a focus of a student-led movement to urge USD to incorporate more indigenous, drought-resistant plants into the university’s landscaping plan. More recently, students from the Ethnic Studies Department pushed to have the garden officially renamed the Kumeyaay Garden in recognition of the relationship between the indigenous people of the area and the environment. A committee of students, staff, and faculty worked with local ethnobotanists Kristie Orosco (Kumeyaay) and Richard Bugbee (Luiseno) to highlight the Kumeyaay names and uses for the fifty plants in the garden. In addition, USD commissioned Johnny Bear Contreras (Kumeyaay) to create a public art piece that ties the garden to the Kumeyaay creation story and astronomy.


The event is free and open to the public. 

About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 8,000 students from 75 countries and 44 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. USD’s eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD recently concluded our successful $317M Leading Change: The Campaign for USD, which represented the most ambitious fundraising effort in the history of the university. In September 2016, USD introduced Envisioning 2024, a strategic plan that capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.