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North Davis Greenbelt Env. Education Areas

Links below will take you to plans drafted, with public input, for each site. The plans below have been approved by the City of Davis, including the Parks and Recreation Commission.

Public comments received during public meetings, and public review, are archived below. 


OVERALL COMMENTS

All comments related to North Davis Environmental Areas, collected in the following ways (comments are in reverse chronological order, by topic):

  1. October 23: public Design Open House meeting
  2. September 10, 14, 16: public meetings along the channel
  3. August 19: public meeting verbal and written comments, plus emails and website comments related to meeting
  4. February 12: public walk along channel: verbal and written comments
  5. February 10: public walk along channel: verbal and written comments
  6. January 15: public meeting verbal and written comments, plus emails and website comments related to meeting

Public Art

  • (Aug 19) Yes. More.
  • (Aug 19) Rotating installations at key locations maybe near sites 1-4 or Spider Web Park. Possibly through UC Davis Landscape Architecture program?
  • (Aug 19) Native American Culture

Recreation

  • (Aug 19) Improve channel assess, esp in areas where it is happening currently in a dangerous way.
  • (Aug 19) Build a bridge over the channel (x2)
  • (Aug 19) Make any trail “bomb proof” and sturdy
  • (Aug 19) Would chairs be an option for seating that would not invite ‘sleeping’? I enjoy sitting

Vegetation

  • (Aug 19) Consider removing turf and replacing with native vegetation, perhaps walkable vegetation (x4)
  • (Aug 19) Replace turf with native turf like alternatives--carex, fescues
  • (Aug 19) At all sites consider removing some of the turf--cut down on watering and replacing with native plants
  • (Aug 19) Are all sites going to emphasize water wise plants? What opportunity exists to enhance project simply by thinning, pruning existing vegetation along bike path? ie: improve visibility
  • [website, Sept 6] Within a diversity of native, drought-tolerant, and pollinator-friendly plantings, include strong massings of similar plants to create themes and reinforce plant associations. Plant thorny and otherwise impenetrable plant species around the perimeter of these massings to create havens for wildlife. 
  • (Jan 15) Take out as much of the “lawn” grass area as you can. Pollinator gardens please.

Fencing

  • (Oct 23) Desire to remove gates entirely to promote access
  • (Aug 19) Move fence from edge to the top of the bank
  • (Aug 19) The fence is not cohesive as it currently is
  • (Feb 12) Access points are already limited, leave them as is
  • (Feb 12) What is the purpose of the fence? Discussion followed, and most agreed it was likely put up by the developer for perceived safety reasons, and the gates were for maintenance access.
  • (Feb 12) Remove all of the fencing, it would not stop a burglar.
  • (Feb 12) If fence limits access to police response, it may serve some safety purpose.
  • (Feb 12) Interest in installing more gates
  • (Feb 10) Concern about increased risk of break ins if there are more openings in the fence.
  • (Feb 10) Consider creating more access points to the channel.
  • (Feb 10) Concern that more openings in the fence would create more access to homes by burglars.
  • (Feb 10) Some feel the channel already has enough openings in the fence, making it attractive to burglars. Burglar concern might be larger in cul de sacs.  
  • (Feb 10) Some feel that improvements, and increased openings in the fence will bring more eyes to the channel, making it safer for everyone.
  • (Feb 10) Remove all of the fencing.
  • (Feb 10) It would be dangerous to not have a fence along the channel during a flood. Concern for kids on bikes expressed.
  • (Feb 10) There is no fencing around parts of the North Davis pond. Why can’t this be the same?
  • (Jan 15) -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.  
  • (Jan 15) 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]
  • (Jan 15) FENCE - consider removing it [comment repeated by two people]

Education, Signage

  • (Aug 19) Desire for signage at the eastern end, “You are entering this project area…”
  • (Aug 19) Flood control: how is the channel connected to the causeway, include historical information about channel construction, purpose, connection to wetlands, benefits to flood and wildlife
  • (Aug 19) Desire for information  on on old natural system of channels, where they went
  • (Aug 19) Keep signs at places we want people to linger (x2)
  • (Aug 19) How the water system connects to West Davis (upstream) and downstream (to Yolo Bypass, Willow Slough connection). We need a good diagram (see North Davis Pond sign--but it should be better than that one!)
  • (Aug 19) Decide whether to have a few large signs or multiple small ones. Come up with a signage system.
  • (Aug 19) Consider signage at access points indicating walkable path along channel
  • (Aug 19) Would like information on the trees, plants, grasses that are being planted and benefits
  • (Aug 19) Benefits explained related to: water quality, birds, pollinator species
  • (Aug 19) If possible, info on bird species and pollinator species inhabiting the area
  • (Aug 19) Education signage stations for info on: bird walks that a volunteer would lead, how to join a ‘Friends of the Ditch,’ volunteering for clean up and maintenance opportunities
  • (Aug 19) Timeline for context and education: 1) prehistory ~15,000 BP, mega fauna, grasslands, and wetlands; 2) Native American presence and plant usage and riparian zone; 3) Early ag area and irrigation canal -- Yolo Co.; 4) Current Ag; 5) Native plants from wildlife to our own yards to City -- uses in built environment
  • (Aug 19) Monarch/ swallowtail habitat with signage
  • (Aug 19) Another effort: develop web info to educate re: history, purpose, natural history about channel.
  • (Aug 19) Any interest in information the public about how the channel is similar to/ different from a ‘typical’ California stream? eg: source of water, manmade, etc?
  • (Aug 19) For kids (or adults): what animals are present? Which are not? Why? Checklists? Animals? Plants? Fish, etc?
  • (Aug 19) Keep in mind native bee nesting habitat next to pollinator plantings. Natural looking. They need bare dirt.
  • (Aug 19) Need plant ID sign/ station/ garden area to “get to know the plants”
  • [email after Aug 19] I have been buried in other stuff and haven’t been able to think much about this project. But off the top of my head, it is always nice to have placed to sit, but also to get a drink. If there is a way to include drinking fountains that would be nice, maybe even with ground level basins for dogs.    As far as educational stuff, it would be great to have some panels of local birds that we might see using the habitat. Hooking folks into stuff they see gives some instant feedback that helps trigger more interest. Plant identification, and even weed identification with a request to help keep the weeds down (I don’t think we want to go so far as to ask folks to pluck out the weeds, since there will likely be mistakes in id). And of course a little about flood flows, where the flood waters come from and where the water in the channel goes after is zips by the signs, and maybe something about flood adapted plants in the lower channel. Thanks for doing this, stefan
  • [email Aug 17] I just saw your community meeting reminder and though I can't make it to the meeting on Monday due to a work commitment, I did want to make a quick comment. I thought that something nice could be to have nature play structures for children as part of the interpretive areas. Just something small to draw them in and encourage their imagination and enjoyment of the wilder parts of Davis. There are lots of these playgrounds around, usually at early childhood programs or at environmental organizations like Audubon. I have not been to one but have seen them online and thought they looked like they could be something interesting. They are all different, but all include some structures like: stepping stumps, climbing boulders, vegetated tunnel (not sure what that is but sounds cool), sand pits combined with boulders, climbing logs or hollow logs, etc. Anyway, just an idea I wanted to share since you are in the brainstorming stage! A whole playground would be a lot, but maybe some elements would work? Thanks a lot for asking for community input and sorry I can't be at the meeting. Gina Gemignani

Other areas of interest (and comments which address multiple points)

  • (Oct 23) Add a trash can at the north side of the channel for dog waste (12x)
  • Place a pole with dog waste bags at entrances to channel. Boxes with bags are to be resident-filled and maintained.
  • (Aug 19) Desire to keep the greenbelt area feeling wild (3x)
  • (Aug 19) Design elements in a way which will not attract illegal overnight camping [paraphrased by note taker]
  • (Aug 19) Do not promote loitering, especially at night
  • (Aug 19) Add bird and bat houses
  • [website after Aug 19] Steps down into the ditch is a good idea, right now a bit slippery and dangerous. Also consider making it welcoming for bikes down in there. I think they are great and should be included for access. Ditto for dogs off-leash.
  • [email after Aug 19] This note follows-up on the Monday evening meeting. At the meeting, the history and parameters of the North Davis RiparianGreenbelt Project were summarized and reviewed. Three site "opportunities" were also presented for Northstar and Senda Nueva residents, and other persons, to provide input into landscape design, plantings, interpretive or educational signage, benches, viewing structures, meandering paths on the channel side of the fence, and the like. There were few Northstar or Senda Nueva residents in attendance, however, but, I believe, myself and the other Northstar residents present set forth general and specific concerns, which we would like to have become part of the record. General Concerns. Very briefly, we don't want project plantings, benches, structure and signage installations, and fence removal that will create dangers and hamper the flood control function of the channel, create ongoing repair, maintenance and policing problems for the city (there is no money for this), attract litter, graffiti, vandalism and anti-social behaviors, and attract homeless encampments; we are dealing with some of these problems now (e.g., it is reported that drinking parties occur with some frequency on the steps in what has come to be called Spider Web Park in Senda Nueva and at the domino sculpture just south of the park, there is boisterous behavior on the bike path at night, graffiti on the light poles and PAR course signs, empty beer cans and food wrappers on the bike path, especially on the weekends, etc.). We do not want the project to add to or compound these problems. Specific Concerns. These concerns, for we residents along the long, straight, north-south, part of the project between Mockingbird Place and including what has come to be called Bird Entry Park are the creation of structures and benches for viewing the channel, farmland and Vaca Mountains, fence removal or more fence openings for access, a meandering path on the channel side of the fence, and interpretive and educational signage. I mentioned at the meeting that most neighbors along this part of the project want less rather than more; to keep the area wild rather than improved and planted. I also said that if improvements were to be made to this area on the channel side of the fence (e.g., a meandering path was presented as an opportunity), then the second row of eucalyptus trees would require trimming (there are potentially hazardous limbs on some of these trees), and the fallen limbs and brush removed (on this point, Mitch Sears said that the city had committed to the removal of the cotoneaster, only). In addition, I said that we do not want benches installed along this part of the project as we believe it would encourage the homeless, litter, and activities such as partying and other behaviors that we have noticed n other parts of the greenbelt, such as the nature trail over by the Northstar soccer fields - we want this area, our neighborhood, to remain quiet and free from these types of intrusions. Finally, I mentioned that if a meandering path were to be installed, an entrance-exit gate should be installed at Bird Entry Park and that no other fence openings and removals be planned. This would allow for entrance and exit at two places: between Mockingbird and Waxwing Place, the present gate opening, and Bird Entry Park. Other Northstar and Senda Nueva residents may have additional concerns. Finally, I will be out of the country on September 14th and 16th, returning at the end of September, and will not be able to participate in these site visits; I hope other Northstar residents will be able to participate, though. Notwithstanding, I understand that an opportunity fo a final review of the project will be scheduled for mid-October before the final design is submitted for approval to the city council. Thank you for your time and effort on this matter. Bill Kenefick
  • (Feb 10) [written comment card] Address erosion on banks. Make official, frequent enough access points. Keep a little bit of wild. Sounds like fire is a big issue. Would an occasional tree for hawks (which I’ve seen) or other birds be good and not too much of a view barrier or fire danger? Use of ground cover. No mowing expense--also the less fuel, noise to maintain the better. Keep the area natural as possible (something other than a manicured greenbelt).
  • (Feb 10) Don’t change or move the workout stations.
  • (Jan 15) I know people whose family togetherness occurs at the Heath Beat station - father and teen/ young adult sons esp.
  • (Jan 15) Why not emphasizing areas to develop that have nothing going on rather than ripping stuff out that is being used.
  • (Jan 15) Anderson park near Oriole. Please do not remove workout stations. They are much used and beloved.
  • (Jan 15) [paraphrased by note-taker] We like the parks as they are. They do not need to be changed.
  • (email excerpt after Jan 15 meeting) ...There was also talk about changing/creating parks at four different areas adjacent to the water channel.  At many of these locations this would involve removing existing park amenities such as tables, benches, trellises, and exercise stations and replacing them with educational type parks and gardens.   Rather then remove existing improvements, couldn’t these features be implemented at new locations where we add new benefits without losing existing benefits.  For example, perhaps in the empty lot that borders the wildlife area along F street.  Proposals to remove the exercise stations along the walkway ignore the fact that these are used with regularity.  The reason the fence dips down at the intersection of the greenbelt to the ditch is that that is a major access point to the ditch – and it is used both in good weather and inclement (when it is muddy you have to grab ahold of the fence to get out – which is probably why it is leaning!)...Duane and Dorothy Thomson

COMMENTS ABOUT SPECIFIC AREAS

Spiderweb/ Senda Nueva Park

  • (Sept 10) Consider benches that face the channel from top of bank (see plan).
  • (Sept 10) Consider grasses and native planting on either side of lamp posts, balance planting to the west
  • (Sept 10) See hedgerow planting at West Davis Ponds for ideas on native planting.
  • (Sept 10) See Honeybee Haven for ideas on pollinator planting.
  • (Sept 10)  Take out grass, replace with kids exploration area between playground and bike trail (see plan).
  • (Sept 10)  Determine maintenance responsibilities and make sure they do not increase.
  • (Sept 10)  Make “chairs” or “bench” with no back so parents can turn around to see kids playing.
  • (Sept 10)  Include informal paths thru native plantings.
  • (Sept 10)  Desire for clump grasses, such as deergrass, along the bike path leading from channel to park.
  • (Sept 10) Move proposed flowers toward west rather than stopping at the light post.
  • (Sept 10) More plantings along top of bank, headed East.
  • (Sept 10)  Make the interpretation signs interchangeable from year to year.
  • (Sept 10)  Have smart-phone scan points so people can go to website to learn more about current goings-on in the channel.
  • (Sept 10)  Perhaps children’s tiles (like Rainbow City Park).
  • (Sept 10)  Design terraces for children to climb on.
  • (Sept 10)  Perhaps use terraces as plant communities demonstration.
  • (Sept 10) Re-enforce walkways down into channel.
  • (Aug 19) Put a kid’s education and play area at Spider Web Park
  • (Aug 19) Spiderweb Park and Pocket Park could use more places for folks to sit, talk, view
  • (Jan 15) The current spiderweb park equipment is excellent and well used. Let’s think add rather than remove and add.
  • (Jan 15) 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.

Pocket Park/ Bird Entry Park

  • (Oct 23) Remove turf at the established oaks at Pocket Park. 
  • (Sept 14) Need benches facing west for the sunset.
  • (Sept 14) Keep any view platform simple, better for multiple uses.
  • (Sept 14)  Bird houses good idea.
  • (Sept 14)  Spiffy up bird overhang, repaint.
  • (Sept 14)  Gate in fence = great idea.
  • (Sept 14)  Paving-More interesting natural materials like flagstone (not concrete).                                     Seats-Wood or boulders w/ flat top.
  • (Sept 14)  Flag stone better than concrete – more natural and adjustable.
  • (Sept 14)  Make sure interpretive signs don’t block the view when people are seated.
  • (Sept 14) Good place to make a connection to farmland issues, species that depend on ag. (ie: Swainson’s Hawk).
  • (Sept 14)  Plant list: Salvias, Zauschnerias, Asters, Desert Lavenders, Malvas.
  • (Sept 14)  Remove as much fence as possible, pull back where it must be kept, chain link = ugly.
  • Sept 14)  Wood fence far more attractive.
  • (Sept 14) Add a couple of Buddlejas (Butterfly Bush) and maybe butterflies are happy.\
  • (Sept 14) Plant small shade trees south-west of existing bench on bike trail (Redbud, Dogwood, Toyon).
  • (Sept 14) Expand native planting to the western HealthBeat station instead of leaving turf as is (see plan).
  • (Sept 14) Balance native planting on the eastern top of channel slope with that on west side (see plan).
  • (Sept 14) Keep areas “natural” looking- flagstone, timber, etc.
  • (Sept 14) Existing bench needs shade- add trees between bike path & gazebo 
  • (Sept 14) Remove as much grass as possible:
    • Remove grass on knolls, especially where there is diseased turf, and replace with native shrubs and perenn
    • Leave enough grass in the flat section to play on
  • (Sept 14) OK to add a break in the fence at the southern end of Section 4, leading north from the proposed interpretive area, but don’t place it in obvious view from Anderson Rd.
  • (Sept 14) Preferred plants: Salvias, Asters, CA Fuchsia, etc.
  • (Aug 19) Put a gate at Bird Entry Park so people can access top of bench (x4)
  • (Aug 19) Spiderweb Park and Pocket Park could use more places for folks to sit, talk, view
  • (Aug 19) Turf at Bird Entry Park is not very usable (x2)
  • (Feb 10) Some like the idea of having a bench near Pocket/ Bird Entry Park, especially if there is shade.
  • (Feb 10) If planting is to occur near Pocket/ Bird Entry Park, do it next to the seating area, but leave the areas as is.
  • (Feb 10) If the fence near Pocket/ Bird Entry Park were replaced with a split rail, some feel that’s equivalent to not having a fence at all.
  • (Jan 15) “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.

Coast Range Views

  • (Sept 14) Love the idea of a parallel nature trail – like North Star.
  • (Sept 14) Little nature trail is nice touch.
  • (Sept 14) Access to top of bank needed near Bird Entry Park.
  • (Sept 14) No trail of decomposed granite through the eucalyptus. Keep it wild. Less is more.
  • (Sept 14) No parallel path
  • o   Eucs are too dangerous to users
  • o   Path would not be observable from streets
  • o   Neighbors disturbed in the evening
  • (Sept 14) Love the ideas of alcoves off-trail at the ends of streets.
  • (Sept 14) “cut outs” at points along Section 4 would seem to be incompatible with a trail through the eucalyptus along the channel length, unless the cut-outs also had access to the upper area.
  • (Sept 14) Consider placing erosion-control sandbags at common access points to/from the channel, similar to what is in place below Bird Entry Park.
  • (Sept 14) Increase pruning efforts/limb up more large branches, especially the interior (channel side) row.
  • (Sept 14) Plant bunch grasses or groundcover on slopes next to bike path.
  • (Sept 14) Move portions of fence over to top of slope.
  • (Sept 14) The existing fence along the southern two-thirds of Section 4 is at the top of a steep slope up from the pavement. It would be awkward or at least challenging to climb up that portion. So, removing the fence would not increase access without also adding steps or ramps.
  • (Sept 14) Moving the entire fence is likely cost-prohibitive.
  • (Sept 14) Add gates in the fence.
  • (Sept 14) First remove the cotoneaster, then consider how much more community members would want to enhance that view
  • (Sept 14) Improve the cleared area near Waxwing.
  • (Aug 19) Make space for special plants in the Coast View area, seating would also be nice so people can sit down and watch the sunset
  • (Aug 19) Put sitting benches along North-South section, but not ones that invite campers
  • (Aug 19) Create a trail along the top of bench in North-South section
  • (Aug 19) Lower the fence in North-South section and or relocate to top of slope
  • (Aug 19) Thin or remove cotoneaster in North-South section, replace with walkable surface of decomposed granite to allow walking among vegetation there

Northstar Connection

  • (Oct 23) Add more trees at healthbeat station
  • (Sept 16) Please continue open access to creek, fence, gate, maybe steps of some kind.
  • (Sept 16) Keep fence open for access up and down from channel and improve access up and down the slope – it is too steep and eroded.
  • (Sept 16) Keep continued access to ditch, (i.e. do not put fence where it is missing now) and add cement sandbags to help with erosion and access.
  • (Sept 16) This site affords great views of the neighboring farmland. Open it up by removing the taller bushes along the fence behind the health beat station and don’t fill the far bank with oak trees.
  • (Sept 16) Why is the water fountain not always functioning
  • (Sept 16) Could we repaint the healthbeat stations the same color as whatever we add? The current paint tends to rub off on my skin.
  • (Sept 16) To improve view, replace fence behind exercise stationwith a shorter and more attractive fence.
  • (Sept 16) Place cement bags down trail into ditch.
  • (Sept 16) See North Star Park arch, art has been included in construction.
  • (Sept 16) Turf alternatives: plantings, demonstration.
  • (Sept 16)  There is room for a native people’s fiber plant garden.
  • (Sept 16) New planting at strip behind HealthBeat station and top of slope. Shade trees for HealthBeat area?
  • (Sept 16) Rain garden could be part of new planting.
  • (Sept 16) Put in more trees for shade on section heading towards F Street.
  • (Sept 16) More benches in shady areas.
  • (Sept 16) Plant trees now and cut down unwanted trees when new trees provide shade.
  • (Sept 16) Plant more trees for shade.
  • (Sept 16) Do not remove big tree on west side.
  • (Sept 16) Leave tree (Australian?) w/ benches around and maybe picnic table. Not keen on mosaic in middle of area.
  • (Sept 16) Use natural features such as boulders, railroad ties, “natural” for children.
  • (Sept 16) Add bike racks at HealthBeat Area 4. Remove or fix odd metal trash can holder.
  • (Sept 16) HealthBeat stations: Can you repaint over the blue at all stations? *Not lead, padding on bars.
  • (Sept 16) Keep Causarina
  • (Aug 19) Improvements to all access at all points (gates and openings) in the fence. Especially steep access on north side at “Northstar Connection”
  • (Aug 19) More shade trees surroundings paths leading to this area
  • (Feb 10) Steps, or perhaps an ADA accessible gate would be good near eastern end

Additional Areas for Consideration

  • (Sept 16) Install a trash can at the F Street end of the greenbelt.
  • (Sept 16) Plants at the F Street area would discourage parking there [parking on or off the road is not allowed there].
  • (Sept 16) Add native plants/trees at F Street entrance to ditch + garbage can. 
  • (Aug 19) Place at garbage can at the east end of the channel at F Street for litter and dog poop (x2)
  • (Aug 19) Request City add dumping garbage can (proposed for F Street) to regular maintenance
  • (Aug 19) Use the bridge to place signs about channel improvements
  • (Feb 10) At the east end, people park in an unmarked area. It is ugly and muddy. Can it be addressed by the project to make it a little nicer, even just with the addition of a trash can?

Comments

Within a diversity of native, drought-tolerant, and pollinator-friendly plantings, include strong massings of similar plants to create themes and reinforce plant associations. Plant thorny and otherwise impenetrable plant species around the perimeter of these massings to create havens for wildlife.

Improvements suggested above, I support. Another would be a bike rack.

General comment - Where ever improvements will be made, specifically inform adjacent landowners so that they are not surprised - specifically at Spider Park, Pocket Park and Northstar Connection. Suggest you do it now via postcard to the half dozen or so affected parcels.

I have attended several meetings about this project and offer the following comments, some of which I have already shared with project leaders:

Vegetation: I add my voice to those who say "Replace turf and replace with native vegetation." In particular, the north end of the greenbelt can be a broader scale demonstration garden (for the city's parks and for residences)  if turf is removed and drought-resistant plants are installed here and elsewhere along the project area.

Recreation: I agree w/comment about putting in some type of chairs backs instead of backless benches in areas where the design is being enhanced. If you invite folks to sit, let them go ahead and lean back. The chair suggestion minimizes "camping" issues. There are chairs w/mesh backs for visibility from both sides.

Pocket park: I liked the comment about the bird houses. This suggestion could build community if it became a scout, school or block project after completion of structures and plantings.

Coast range views: Yes! Thank you to the city for removing shrubbery. Nothing else is needed in this section to "improve" it. Keep an eye on those eucalyptus trees, please.

Erosion: Current use amply demonstrates where access occurs and needs to be managed with steps and/or other erosion control.

Let's enhance this area that we enjoy so much as a neighborhood and as a city.

Thank you.

Lynn Narlesky, Robin Place