The Wash: Uncovering Pomona College's Hidden Landscape

Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environmental Analysis

Reader 1

Char Miller

Reader 2

Jonathan Wright

Reader 3

Wallace Meyer

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Rights Information

© 2017 Madison G Vorva, Nia P. McAllister, and Maria R. Pettis


The purpose of this capstone project is to tell a place-based story about an often forgotten part of campus: the Wash. Beginning as a likely Tongvan campsite, the Wash, after donation to Pomona College as “Blanchard Park” underwent a series of land-use changes. Originally, a designated green space, its present-day composition includes athletic fields, the organic farm and the historic remnant oak grove. Throughout time the value of the Wash changed with its differing caretakers and inhabitants. To bring attention to this evolving landscape and to inform more sustainable and equitable land use in the future, our project aims to acknowledge past narratives about this place, take stock of its present ecological significance and recommend best practices going forward. We accomplished this by putting together a history of the Wash using indigenous knowledge, archival information, biological surveys and GIS.