Couple of Birds Close Up


A unique "outdoor laboratory" designed and maintained by the Life Science Department, the S. Mark Taper Botanical Garden serves as a resource for the Biology, Natural History and Horticulture courses at Pierce College.

It features plants native to California, the Mediterranean basin, Chile, South Africa and Australia, all areas that share a similar climate. The garden features drought-tolerant vegetation that thrives with far less water than traditional landscaping and provides habitat for the smaller native wildlife of Pierce College – native bees, beetles, butterflies, lizards and many species of birds.

The small pond is home to Mosquito Fish (which eat mosquito larvae), crayfish and several turtles. The Smallwood Fountain is nearby, featuring a massive granite sculpture with small bronze doves and an aquatic bog garden.

A unique feature of our Life Science garden is the “Evolution Walk” which shows the development of life forms over geologic time embedded into the walkway. Informational brochures are available near the walkway.

Location, parking and hours:

  • The Garden is located just north of the Central Mall (Campus map).
  • Unfortunately, there is no adjacent guest parking. Garden visitors must obtain a parking permit from the campus sheriff or purchase a day pass from the vending kiosks in the parking lots. Parking permits are not required on weekends.
  • The garden is open during regular campus hours, 6 a.m. - 11 p.m.
  • For further information, please contact Pat Farris, Life Science Department.

Garden Information


Pat Farris
Email: @email