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Davis, California

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

North Davis lot to go through habitat restoration


Restoration will give rise to ecological activity, encourage nature walks

City-owned land in North Davis on the southwest corner of F Street and Anderson Road is set to undergo habitat restoration. The project is set to restore the vacant lot to a California-native grassland with trees, shrubs and wildflowers. It is designed to complement the existing pond habitat by providing upland habitat with additional value for wildlife and public access.

“The overall design is open, allowing views of both the pond and the surrounding vistas to the East, North and South,” said Tracie Reynolds, the property management coordinator for the City of Davis and manager of the city’s Open Space Program. “In addition to the grassland, a hedgerow-style feature will be installed on a short slope along the west edge of the project area.  The hedgerow will provide a buffer between humans and wildlife in the pond area as well as prevent encroachment of invasive weeds into the restoration zone.”

The site is set to be part of a growing ecological system in the city of Davis and in surrounding areas.

“What is most important about this F and Anderson site is its spatial context,” said Patrick Huber, the chair for the Open Space and Habitat Commission. “It’s right next to the North Davis Pond, which functions as habitat […] By bringing [the site] into Open Space management, we can have a well-connected ecological network on the North part of town and even beyond town.”

At the site, there is expected to be a walking path, interpretive panels and valley oak trees for shade. There is also the possibility of a bike crossing in the future.

“Once it is restored, I think it will be popular with people looking for a more natural walking experience through wildlife habitat,” Reynolds said. “The city’s greenbelts and parks are awesome and beautiful, but they are human-tended [and] contain turf and other non-native plants. The F and Anderson site will provide people with a more natural experience within the city limits.”

The City of Davis’ Open Space Program is undertaking the F and Anderson project. The program was established in 1990 to implement longstanding policies that called for the protection of the farmlands and wild areas that surround the community.

The major goals of the program include securing long-term protection of open space lands around Davis; providing and improving long-term management and monitoring of natural habitat and other open space values on city-owned lands; supporting the enjoyment of public open space lands, both within the city limits and in the broader Davis Planning Area; engaging citizens in planning and caring for open space areas and nurturing productive partnerships with other organizations, according to the Open Space Program’s website.

The program has led to the protection of about 5,300 acres of agricultural land and habitat areas surrounding the city through the acquisition of lands, either in fee titles or under conservation easements.

The program is funded mostly by Measure O, which was passed in November 2000. Measure O brings in more than $14 million in state and federal funding.

“Some recent projects [by the Open Space Program] include invasive Tamarisk control at South Fork, major vegetation control for public safety at Lincoln Highway and tree care with volunteers at multiple sites, among other things,” said Chris Gardner, the open space land manager for the City of Davis.

In the next few weeks, a community group called Friends of North Davis Ponds is expected to hold a meeting with the City of Davis to set a schedule and come to terms on the details of the project.


Written by: Dylan Svoboda — city@theaggie.org


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