Sunday, April 26, 2015
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 [email protected] 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

     
     
    Davis team wins world robotics championship

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

     
    Nepal quake death toll exceeds 1,800

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    Spring storm delivers late rain, snow to Northern California

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    At the Pond: Plenty of pleasures in our bioregion

    By Jean Jackman | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Rail-safety bill passes Senate committee

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Free Family Bike Clinic set Sunday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Pioneering organic chef presents her memoir Monday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Suspect in UCD assault arrested

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4

    Dog park marks anniversary with cleanup

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Watch them in action

    By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A5

    Stocks rise on tech earnings; Nasdaq adds to record

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

     
    Dodd speaks as part of public policy series

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

    We did it (together)!

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

     
    $2.72 million judgment ordered against Dollar Tree Stores

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    UCD hosts bike auction Saturday, May 2

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    Fly Fishers to hear about advanced streamer tactics on Tuesday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

    Bicycle activist will speak Monday at Hall of Fame

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    .

    Forum

    Those texts still linger

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B6

     
    New ways of giving locally and beyond

    By Marion Franck | From Page: B6

     
    Study questions accuracy of tumor gene mapping

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A12

     
    Poker proceeds help youths

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

    Invest in water of the future

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

     
    Water, water everywhere?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

    Mayor’s Corner: A spirit of renewal permeates Davis

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

     
    More work to do for a safe Picnic Day

    By Our View | From Page: A12

    Anaheim, where The Force is with you

    By Sebastian Onate | From Page: A13 | Gallery

     
    .

    Sports

    Davis gets two baseball wins in two days

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1

     
    Grizzlies dominate young Blue Devils on Senior Night

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Energy, fan-friendly happenings highlight UCD spring football game

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Blue Devil golfers capture CAL Invitational title

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    UCD roundup: Aggies reach water polo semifinals

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

     
    Blue Devil swimmers are up to the challenge

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Babich brings the heat as DHS girls stick it to Oak Ridge

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12 | Gallery

     
    DHS softball struggles continue against Sheldon

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    History comes alive in ‘The Sacramento Picture’

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    Yolo County real estate sales

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A7

     
    Big Italian food, sports bar to fill Little Prague

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    Davis Roots hires new general manager

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    Comcast announces speed upgrade

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Obituaries

     
    Whitney Joy Engler

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Valente Forrest Dolcini

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, April 26, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8