hillside of native plants
Sage Hill at UCLA

Practicum Project | 2021

Sage Hill – learning from the past, preparing for the future

Hidden between Hitch Suites and Sunset Boulevard on UCLA’s campus are four acres of land home to the highest diversity of native California flora and fauna species in west Los Angeles. Like the rest of the land UCLA sits on, Sage Hill was appropriated from the Tongva Native Americans. Much of the area has been degraded from the effects of urbanization and invasive species, but some native plants and animals survived despite minimal human management. Today, human presence plays a different role in the ecology of this under-appreciated area. UCLA faculty occasionally use Sage Hill to conduct outdoor labs, undergraduate research and teaching activities, and some student clubs hold restoration days to clear away invasive plants. However, these activities are uncoordinated and infrequent, and the site is underutilized. 

Our practicum team will collect a complete history of Sage Hill and document recent activities, including courses taught at Sage Hill and previous restoration efforts. Our aim is to organize existing data collected at Sage Hill into an accessible resource for students and faculty at UCLA as well as the general public. This data will be used to develop a new website featuring narratives, resources and images of Sage Hill. With our help, Sage Hill can provide numerous opportunities for hands-on, meaningful educational engagement in fields such as environmental science, American Indian studies, arts and humanities. Creating an interactive and engaging website will enable Sage Hill to be the site of more research and long-term restoration efforts.

Client: UCLA

Advisor: Dr. Cully Nordby

Student Team: Jully Alvarado, Mariana Fuentes, Lisa Imai, Gisselle Sainz, Janelle Vidal