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Public Comments on North Davis Channel

We have already recieved a lot of comments from the community about project ideas for the North Davis Channel. They can be found below. 

Comments which have come in over email are not published below, unless the writer requested they be made public. 


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HOW TO UNDERSTAND THESE COMMENTS: The comments are grouped by topic. When one person submitted multiple comments on one topic, those comments are grouped together below, with a * to denote when the comment moves from one card to the next. When the note takers had to paraphrase a comment or question during the meeting, it is noted below.

Comments were not edited, and are presented as written.  



  • We love the channel--thanks for your efforts!
  • [paraphrased by note-taker] Still want the area to be open for dog walking (comment reiterated 3 times)
  • I agree with one person’s comment - dogs nust be continued to be allowed. 
  • The most common recreational use seems to be dog walking--how will that activity be impacted by this project? Recently there have been “issues” w Army Corps regarding riparian habitat and their interaction with flood control priorities. Do those concerns play any role in this project?
  • The Northstar Park Greenbelt area has no dog off leash area. It would be nice to have an off leash area. [comment reiterated 2 times]
  • There is no wheelchair accessible spot to let your dog swim in the entire County. It would be nice to have a spot to legally swim your dog. 
  • “Keep par course” Incorporate around them. Keep our experience opportunities. 
  • Start sooner than later: Friends of North Davis Greenbelt
  • The 3 year plan also needs to focus on time after the grant so there is a public community support created. 
  • What you have done regarding Putah Creek has been so exciting - This area has maybe more people in love with places already. Sensitivity needed. 
  • Modest steve Hampton is a genius birder out there all the time in No. Davis and understands habitat. Learn from Friends of West Davis Pond. 
  • I would hate to miss opportunities to work on this project due to scheduling conflicts. Lets have multiple dates for plantings and weeding. 
  • This is a rare area with unfenced access to water. Please keep the access rather than fencing it off for safety. - Please keep existing large trees, even if non-native, if in safe condition. - Please do not remove the exercise stations. We are constantly removing, which is excessively wasteful.  
  • Makes me very nervous when people who don’t the area makes plans before the meetings with people using the area for years. Get habitat advice first__birder. * -Julie Partanski Pond over 100 species of bird come there plus river otters!! every year. Could have common bird identification there. Connect with pond plus have seen racoon and coyotes there.  * The Julie Partanski wildlife pond is a destination and should be included-only one block away - more birds - F St. side huge space needs habitat help- 6 aces? More people at ponds. 
  • Is there a deadline by which the grant money must be spent? 


  • Did the city have to issue a permit for the project? Was there CEQA review?
  • What will be monitored for the project and who will do it? How will this info be used?


  • Have you done an analysis of the effect of the project on flood control?
  • Have you analyzed the effects of the project on fire hazards? What about fire hazard created by the native plants? Will they be mowed? What happens when they dry?
  • Goats! Idea is great. Why can’t we? Let’s talk with the City. TOO MUCH POISON!
  • [paraphrased by note-taker] Consider goats or sheep for weed control.
  • [paraphrased by note-taker] When herbicides are to be used, can send out a notice the day ahead with a City hotline.
  • [paraphrased by note-taker] Would like to see a sign put up 24 hours in advance of herbicide application.
  • Will grasses be particularly allergenic to those with “seasonal” allergies?
  • Would it be possible to stabilize the levee road -- for example adding a fine gravel so that people who use the path in rainy weather don’t ruin the path? [signed W. P, email address provided]


  • [paraphrased by note-taker] Eucalyptus have not been taken care of by City. There are a lot of widowmakers, accidents waiting to happen. Comment was reiterated 3 times by those present.
  • [paraphrased by note-taker] Eucalyptus along the asphalt path are a fire hazard. Comment was reiterated 2 times by those present.
  • [paraphrased by note-taker] Will the native plants in the channel become a new fire hazard?
  • Will the mosquito population increase?

Channel Design--Comments

  • Will the Almond trees be preserved? Hope so! (and Fig?) : )
  • Deodara cedar planted near chainlink fence, north of Petegrine where bike path turns east. Please conserve this tree!
  • Weed control plan - Erosion control function of grasses should not be overlooked. - Maybe forget restoring grasses and use the funds to focus on woody plants.
  • [paraphrased by note-taker] Wants a trail inside the channel. Comment repeated 2 times.
  • Please if you wildflower seed be sure it is native only. Don’t follow Caltran’s example of planting wildflowers along highway 99, many of which are not California native. Dogs on leads only. Free running dogs are already a problem.
  • [paraphrased by note-taker] Gene Trapp and JoEllen Ryan started friends of West Davis Ponds. Gary Zamzow helped as well. Together they created butterfly and hummingbird gardens with native plants. Group has wiki page, Facebook page (with 172 likes). Volunteering with the Friends makes the neighborhood really feel like a community. Side note: concern expressed about water level in West Davis Pond. Contact info for Friends of West Davis Pond provided:
  • More shade in hot, hot Davis is always good!
  • [paraphrased by note-taker] Please conserve the BMX area for the kids.
  • BMX biking should not be entirely eliminated. It attracts Kids to the area and gives them an opportunity to connect with a natural area, not just a concrete play area as we have in community park. [Signed J. W.]
  • Kids + Dirt Bikes--they are going to do it somewhere so perhaps leave a place for it.
  • BMX possibilities function as a “sanity check” for youth in they can feel free and also welcome, rather than confined/ “wrong”, charting their “own way” with BMX culture.
  • BMX possibilities function as a “sanity check” for youth in they can feel free and also welcome, rather than confined/ “wrong”, charting their “own way” with BMX culture.
  • [paraphrased by note-taker] The design within the channel should be “bomb-proof” , ie: should hold up to rough use by children on bikes.
  • 12 years ago, my daughter learned to walk downhill on the non-turf surface at the steep slpoe access. We need a little challenge in our kids environments.
  • Preserve the cottonwood trees -- plant more!
  • Can existing plantings along asphalt path be lowered and thinned to improve views to the north and west, including the channel, farmland, etc. (And possibly reduce fire dangers). Thanks for considering!
  • I have been advised by Will Marshall, City of Davis, that Yolo County Flood Control and Water Conservation District holds an easement from the City of Davis. Have the approved this project?
  • To maintain conveyance capacity are you obliged to limit hydraulic roughness to some predetermined threshold?
  • Review all existing previous city work (West Ponds) (Wild Horse Burrowing Owl Open Space) for success and failures. Maint. costs and schedules for existing city properties.
  • Punch holes in boundaries, fences, landscape treatments. Every one will know the legal boudary, make it more fluid... [drawing provided which cannot be rendered in comments. Shows a meandering line cutting back and forth across a straight line]
  • “Tree Canopy” (if meant to shade levee Road) may reduce useabilty of this road.
  • -Currently, it takes relatively few days for this road to sun-dry and become highly usable. (I tend to use it 3x/ week for powerful bicycling safety.)
  • Will the flood plain continue to support our meandering bicycling? -this of course (existing path) is fun and challenging--partly because it can run a little rough/ changing.
  • [paraphrased by note-taker] If the eucalyptus trees are removed from the area, bladderpod might be an acceptable alternative floral resource.
  • Do the flood control people know about this? Will they allow trees down there?
  • EUCALYPTUS  - If eucs are removed, they should be replaced w/ plants that bloom in winter to provide an alternative fod source for the many hummingbirds and warblers that depend on them. -best native option would be bladderpod. -we’d need about 10 bladderpod per euc. [from S. H.]
  • [paraphrased by note-taker] Consider phased removal of eucalyptus.
  • The flowering red and yellow eucalyptus trees in the ditch and near Falcon provide critical bird habitat for warblers, tanagers, orioles, hummingbirds -- probably w/ higher bird use than any other tree species. -also magpie nests. [signed S. H., ‘conducted 10 yrs of bird surveys here]
  • Eucalyptus that complete with oaks should be removed (along the south/ east boundary path) [signed J. W.]
  • [paraphrased by note-taker] Keeping some of the eucalyptus would be preferable.
  • [paraphrased by note-taker] The diseased and damaged eucalyptus could impact the health of the native plants.
  • Photo in the paper showed pampass grass. Start removal please.
  • NO Coyote Bush!! it is ivasive weed. Why not Quail Bush in alkaline area. Contact USDA NRCS plant material center Lockford.

Habitat Garden Design -- Comments

  • Why not emphasizing areas to develop that have nothing going on rather than ripping stuff out that is being used.
  • Anderson park near Oriole. Please do not remove workout stations. They are much used and beloved.
  • The current spiderwed park equipment is excellent and well used. Let’s think add rather than remove and add.
  • FENCE - consider removing it [comment repeated by two people]
  • Take out as much of the “lawn” grass area as you can. Pollinator gardens please.
  • [paraphrased by note-taker] We like the parks as they are. They do not need to be changed.
  • Butterfly garden at senda Nueva park. - Good idea. -Put it on the little hill. -Keep existing play structure--they are some of the most popular in Davis.


Habitat Garden Design--Comments

  • “Bird Entry Park”--The current seating area covered by roses is terrible. I’ve never seen anyone use it. The structure should definitely be removed. I don’t know what could replace it. Maybe a native bee garden would be cool.
  • I know people whose family time occurs at the Health Beat stations--father and tean/young sons esp. 


Myself, my friends, my neighbors, all our dogs, and all the kids I know love the ditch (aka North Davis Drainage Channel).  Please don't mess it up!!! I would strongly prefer it stay as it is.

Please ignore the sole comment demanding that leash laws (province of Yolo County Animal Control) be addressed in this project. It is currently a de facto off-leash park, and should remain so within the scope of this project.

I have lived in this area for over 25 years and have walked/run the green belt path along the levy on all sides for years. It is made as a overflow for the years with lots of rain and almost every year I see water up close to the edge of the upper part of the dirt bank. It always flods at least 4-5 feet of water each year and is running fairly fast at times. So fast sometimes, that I recently this winter saw kids kayaking in the water going east towards the bridge on F str.

It makes no sense to me to plant and beautify this area, when all the hard work will be destroyed during heavy rain years. It people are dying to do something to the levy, then pull out the non-native plants and let natives take over.

Instead I think the area along F Str and Anderson ( north/east corner) could be used for projects like this.

Henriette B
Flicker Ave.

I support this idea..below learn from the experts

[paraphrased by note-taker] Gene Trapp and JoEllen Ryan started friends of West Davis Ponds. Gary Zamzow helped as well. Together they created butterfly and hummingbird gardens with native plants. Group has wiki page, Facebook page (with 172 likes). Volunteering with the Friends makes the neighborhood really feel like a community. Side note: concern expressed about water level in West Davis Pond. Contact info for Friends of West Davis Pond provided:

we should have volunteers removing invasive weeds on a regular basis to allow natives to colonize.

This drainage system is charged by runoff from City of Davis storm sewers. It is not a creek. With climate change there will be a steadily decreasing amount of water for the channel. Plantings should be appropriate drought resistant native species that will survive the warmer and dryer climate of at least 50-100 years from now in addition to seasonal winter flooding that presently occurs.

Overall comment: I walk the ditch at least a couple of hundred days each year and think that this project will make the walk even better than it already is.

Ditch Plan: The tentative plan seems to me to be good and I have only 3 comments:

(1) The long stretch of levee road in section 5 is good for winter walking because it’s sunny and dries quickly after rains. To keep it that way and also to avoid unnecessary shading of the agricultural field adjacent to the levee road, the trees planted there should be not only deciduous but also relatively small. California buckeyes would be preferable to the much taller sycamores, as they would shade the road but not the field.

(2) Walkers and bikers should continue to have access to all 3 paths currently used. The paved path gets most use and is the only feasible choice for shade and in muddy weather but the levee road gives a wonderful “open country” feel and the ditch bottom is the best choice when a 30 mph north wind is blowing (and also will be good for getting next to the new vegetation when that arrives).

(3) Generally, I hope that the project will spend its money on plantings and on any needed irrigation equipment, rather than on structures. But it would be useful to have a small bridge, spanning just the low- flow channel, at the place where a north-south bike path intersects the ditch at a Par Course installation in the middle of section 5. This would be a good point for a lot of people to get onto and off of the levee road. The bridge wouldn’t need to be substantial like the one at Kestrel Place and could even be removable under conditions when major flooding of the ditch was expected.

Greenbelt Plan:

Like a lot of other people, I think that the Par Course and other existing installations at the places where the greenbelt intersects the ditch should be kept, not replaced. A butterfly garden on the greenbelt at the west end of the project area would be ok but it would not be ok to use project funds to replace the excellent and much-used playground there with a butterfly-themed playground. [Assigning someone the job of designing new structures for locations that already have useful structures is ok if it’s just an academic exercise but it seems to be an unfair assignment if the designer is led to expect his structures to happen.]

Dave Pratt
628 Barbera Place
Davis 95616

I love the greenbelt; I love the wildlife. The biggest thing that distracts from my enjoyment of the greenbelt are the mosquitoes that swarm everything in the late afternoon/evening and in the morning. I've read that bats are voracious mosquito eaters. Any way we can make parts of the habitat friendly/receptive to bats (bat boxes?) to have them help combat the mosquito problem? Similarly, owls are voracious mice/vole eaters. Can we put some owl boxes in the habitat?