The City and the citizens of Davis have been active in the protection of natural resources, sensitive habitat, and agricultural lands in, and surrounding, the community for the past several decades. The first local measure to protect open space, Measure S, was passed by 58% of voters in 1986 to expand Central Park. More recently, in 2000, more than 70% of Davis voters approved Measure O, a parcel tax designed to be a long-term, stable funding source to acquire and maintain open space areas.
The City’s formal Open Space Program was established in 1990 to implement long-standing policies that called for the protection of the farmlands and wild areas that surround the community. The major goals of the program include:
- Protect Open Space - Secure long-term protection of open space lands around Davis, including maintaining the quality, quantity, and connectivity of agricultural lands and habitats
- Manage for the Long-Term - Provide and improve long-term management and monitoring of natural habitat and other open space values on City-owned lands
- Foster Use of Public Lands - Promote and support the enjoyment of public open space lands, both within the city limits and in the broader Davis Planning Area
- Engage Citizens - Engage citizens in planning and caring for open space areas
- Work With Others - Nurture productive partnerships with other organizations to achieve the above goals
Since its inception, the Open Space 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 title or under conservation easements. Before the passage of Measure O in 2000, the City did not have a reliable funding source to acquire land and conservation easements. Due to its stable and reliable nature, Measure O has tremendous leveraging power, bringing in more than $14 million in state and federal matching funds, more than twice what the City has funded. For more information about Measure O, visit the “Policy Framework” webpage found on the sidebar.
For more information about the City’s Open Space Program, please contact Tracie Reynolds, Property Management Coordinator and manager of the City’s Open Space Program, at (530) 757-5669 or at TReynolds@cityofdavis.org.