Locals will have the opportunity to see how feedback has shaped plans to improve the North Davis Channel during a meeting Monday hosted by the Putah Creek Council.
Included in the North Davis Riparian Greenbelt project are plans for planting native vegetation, removing invasive weeds, creating a new pathway and educational area and enhancing wildlife and pollinators overall. The channel generally runs along the northern city limits from Sycamore Lane to F Street (but south of North Davis Farms).
The local volunteer organization will reveal the preliminary designs for the 17 acres of publicly accessible habitat at 6 p.m. Monday at the Veterans’ Memorial Center Club Room, 203 E. 14th St. in Davis.
Stephen McCord, Putah Creek Council board member and project manager, said the draft will take into account the public’s response; gathered during meetings and in a flood of emails and letters.
“There has been a lot of comments, and they are all listed on our website (www.putahcreekcouncil.org/node/204) by category,” McCord explained. “We tried to distill the comments down into what we were going to do, based on what we were hearing the most.
“It’s tough when you get some saying, ‘Take out all vegetation, because I don’t want a flood,’ and others saying, ‘We want a lot of vegetation.’ The balance has been the biggest challenge, and hopefully, people will like where we ended up.”
One of the primary concerns that McCord mentioned was the threat of fire along the channel, which is lined with homes. To address this, those involved with the project have focused on cultivating greenery that is identified as “fire-wise.”
Another suggestion from the public was that the area retain its views of the surrounding farmland, seen from the concrete walkway across the stream. McCord said the early outline takes this into account, and will provide open spaces to frame the landscape.
There will be more opportunity for the community’s input during Monday’s presentation, which will help in revising and finalizing the blueprints for consideration and recommendation by the city of Davis Open Space and Habitat Commission on April 17.
“We’ve already been incorporating the comments from the public, but if we hear a consistent message that we need to change something, we’ll do it,” McCord said. “We’re hoping that we’ll get more confirmation that we’ve done things the right way than arguments that we haven’t.”
— Reach Brett Johnson at email@example.com or 530-747-8052. Follow him on Twitter at @ReporterBrett