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A brief history of California's Cottonwood Spring Oasis

Making It Grow Radio Minute
SC Public Radio
Making It Grow, with host Amanda McNulty

Hello, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. All three of my kids live in Los Angeles and this year we visited and went to Joshua Tree National Park, a high desert with fascinating landscapes. Most of the plants are specialized for the extreme environmental conditions there; I loved it, as most were short and I could see them easily. But our water-loving cottonwoods grow there, too, at Cottonwood Spring Oasis. As a result of volcanic activity, a spring is flowing there. It was used by native peoples in past times, during the gold rush in California, miners came there to wash the stream residues away, hoping for those valuable nuggets. And somehow or another, cottonwood seeds ended up there, too, and their brilliant yellow fall color contrasts beautifully with the evergreen fan palms that also grow there, silhouetted against those California blue skies.

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Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.