Friday, December 26, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Putah Creek Council launches project in Davis’ back yard

Habitat for wildlife and amenities for pedestrians, bicyclists and pets are among the possibilities for the North Davis Channel, Davis' only flowing creek. The Putah Creek Council's North Davis Riparian Greenbelt project will create 17 acres of publicly accessible habitat in an urban storm water channel. Courtesy photo

By
From page A1 | December 28, 2012 |

Weigh in

What: Community input meeting

When: 7-9 p.m. Tuesday Jan. 15

Where: Blanchard Room, Stephens Branch Library, 315 E. 14th St., Davis

A local volunteer group is looking to the community for input on how best to turn Davis’ only flowing creek, the North Davis Channel, into a wildlife magnet and an aesthetically pleasing commuter route.

Putah Creek Council’s North Davis Riparian Greenbelt project will create 17 acres of publicly accessible habitat in an urban storm water channel. It is a collaboration between the council and the city of Davis, McCord Environmental, Yolo Resource Conservation District, Center For Land-Based Learning and volunteers from UC Davis and the community.

Libby Earthman, executive director of the Putah Creek Council, said the pathway alongside the waterway has long been used by neighbors to bike, jog, walk dogs and watch birds. While her volunteer-based organization has taken the reins of the greenbelt’s betterment, it was the brainchild of one of those regular visitors.

Mark Woerner, a local resident whose house is near the channel, may have always been the project’s biggest proponent. It was his idea to improve the local channel through plant propagation, something he thought of while on a run along Sacramento’s tree-laden American River Parkway.

“It occurred to me that maybe the Davis channel would be an appropriate place to develop a similar habitat,” Woerner said. “When I shared that thought with others who were using the facility, I received an outpour of encouragement.”

He took it upon himself to start growing native plants in his back yard, which faces the waterway, in the fall of 2007. His goal was to make it a more inviting area for both people and wildlife, but he approached the Putah Creek Council for help when he realized that 1.25 miles of channel was too large a task for one man.

“I was just the guy out there — diggin’ in the dirt. They were the ones who made it happen,” Woerner said. “While I can do a little bit of work, they can move it along in ways I couldn’t hope to achieve.”

The storm water channel’s primarily purpose is flood conveyance. All of the rainwater in West Davis drains into the West Area Ponds, which spill over Covell Boulevard into the channel, which passes alongside North Davis and out past the Wildhorse Golf Club.

Putah Creek Council’s mission — besides attracting people, pollinating insects and birds — is to instill urban greening-specific benefits in the area, including buffers to prevent water pollution and bike paths to reduce emissions from car commuting.

These benefits, along with creek’s close proximity to a densely populated residential area, allowed for application to the California Natural Resources Agency’s Urban Greening Grant Program. The request was granted in 2010, and the project was funded for approximately $750,000.

This grant was made possible through Proposition 84, the Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Bond Act of 2007, which authorizes $5.388 billion in general obligation bonds to fund waterway protection, among other things.

With the resources in hand, Earthman said, Putah Creek Council launched its project to improve the stretch of flowing water. She said the channel’s value was apparent the day they did a walking tour with representatives from the funding agency.

“As we were describing what we wanted to do, a school class walked by, then a family with strollers and then a woman in a wheelchair. We didn’t queue any of those people,” Earthman said, breaking into a laugh. “It really does get used by everyone.”

The project is intended to become part of a community-driven process. The first open meeting for its initial planning is scheduled for 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15, in the Blanchard Room at the Stephens Branch Library, 315 E. 14th St. in Davis.

Stephen McCord, Putah Creek Council board member and project manager, said the first component — the planting — is expected to start in fall 2013. The project may be at least another two years from culmination.

“Right now, we’re just in the getting-the-word-out phase,” McCord said. “We’ve got preliminary designs or thoughts on what we want to do, but we definitely want to get community input on it.

“We’ll be talking to people about setting up a Friends of the North Davis Channel. Even naming it North Davis Channel is not attractive or interesting for the waterway, so we’ll be talking about coming up with a better name.”

— Reach Brett Johnson at bjohnson@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8052. Follow him on Twitter at @ReporterBrett

 

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Exchange students bring the world to Davis

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Pastor has many plans for CA House

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Transit survey: 47 percent ride bikes to UCD campus

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Playing Santa

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Goats help recycle Christmas trees

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Davis Bike Club hears about British cycling tour

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Pick up a Davis map at Chamber office

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Sierra Club calendars on sale Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Special holiday gifts

    By Sue Cockrell | From Page: A3

     
    Woodland-Davis commute bus service expands

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Learn fruit tree tips at free class

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Explorit: Get a rise out of science

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A4

    NAMI meeting offers family support

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    Yoga, chanting intro offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

    .

    Forum

    Blamed for her sister’s rage

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    How much for the calling birds?

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Steve Sack cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

     
    Many ensured a successful parade

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Thanks for putting food on the table

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    .

    Sports

    Patterson is college football’s top coach

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Clippers get a win over Golden State

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Two more for the road for 9-1 Aggie men

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    NBA roundup: Heat beat Cavs in LeBron’s return to Miami

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    ‘Unbroken': A bit underwhelming

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    Folk musicians will jam on Jan. 2

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    .

    Business

    Passat: Roomy, affordable sedan with German engineering

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    James J. Dunning Jr.

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Floyd W. Fenocchio

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, December 26, 2014 (set 2)

    By Creator | From Page: B7

     
    Comics: Thursday, December 26, 2014 (set 1)

    By Creator | From Page: A9