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VALLEY ROUNDUP | Northridge

Little-Known CSUN Garden Invites Public

August 24, 2000|STEPHANIE STASSEL

Tucked between its student union and health center, Cal State Northridge has a botanic garden that is home to more than 2,400 species of plants.

It's a place where biology students can work on plant-related research projects or the community can learn about roses through a series of classes offered through the College of Extended Learning. Although it's been around for 35 years, the 2 1/2-acre facility that includes a 3,400-square-foot greenhouse and an outdoor pond is sometimes overlooked by students and largely unknown to the public.

"It's in a wooded area with no signs. You don't know if you're allowed in or not, which of course, you are," said Brian Houck, botanic garden and greenhouse manager, adding that community volunteers are raising money for signs.

To draw attention, the botanic garden and greenhouse will have an open house from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday. Street parking is available on Dearborn Street, off Zelzah Avenue.

On display will be various types of cactuses, succulents, palms, tropical plants and plants from Asia and New Zealand. Information will be available on the Botanic Garden Series, which is open to the public and features one-day seminars on bonsai, herbs, orchids, California native plants and roses.

"The garden is looking better and better," Houck said. "In fact, we look the best we've ever looked."

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