The Cache Creek Conservancy is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 1996 and dedicated to creek restoration, preservation, and education. The focus of the Conservancy’s work has been riparian restoration along a fourteen mile stretch of Cache Creek covered by Yolo County’s Cache Creek Resources Management Plan. The Conservancy also manages the Jan T. Lowrey Cache Creek Nature Preserve, a 130-acre complex of riparian, upland, and wetland habitats. This serves as the site for our environmental education program in which approximately 2,500 elementary students per year participate in learning about the environment. The Conservancy is governed by a 15-member Board of Directors and has a 7-member staff.
The Cache Creek Conservancy was formed in 1995 by individuals representing a broad spectrum of interests throughout the region. Individuals and groups representing the environment, government agencies, landowners, agriculture, and industries supported and were involved in Conservancy efforts. These people understood the need for a project-oriented environmental organization to focus on the previously mined stretches of Cache Creek.
In February, 1996 the organization officially became a nonprofit, public benefit corporation with primary goals to implement projects, provide environmental education, hold conservation easements, and manage land for wildlife habitat. Funding was provided by voluntary support from the four major mining companies operating on Cache Creek who agreed to contribute five cents per ton of gravel sold.
In the same time frame, the Yolo County Board of Supervisors adopted the Cache Creek Area Plan in late 1996. Within the framework of this Plan, the aggregate industry support for the Conservancy was memorialized. The Conservancy has continued to receive quarterly payments directly from the producers to the present. Additional funding over the years has come from grants, contract work, and your generous donations.
The Cache Creek Conservancy (CCC) is dedicated to restoring ecological function and enhancing the quality and quantity of wildlife habitat along Cache Creek. The Conservancy is the primary implementing agency of the Cache Creek Area Plan, an element of Yolo County's general plan. We are the “boots on the ground”, we manage and execute conservation, restoration, and enhancement projects from start to finish. This work includes: procuring grant funding, environmental permitting, site analysis and selection, site monitoring and maintenance, native plant propagation, and the management of invasive species’ populations.
Check out our blog written by Habitat Restoration Manager, Lea Bertz. Learn more about the behind the scenes work that goes on here at the Cache Creek Nature Preserve!
The CCC's Experience the Creek environmental education program is offered to schools and visitors of the Cache Creek Nature Preserve. This comprehensive environmental education experience focuses on the ecology, culture, and the history of the Cache Creek watershed. Our environmental education team works to help teachers meet the State's Next Generation Science Standard (NGSS) curriculum, providing hands-on experiences that teachers cannot accomplish in the classroom. The program's activities emphasize interactive learning and support the NGSS. Students, working together in teams, learn first-hand by observing and using natural materials. Lessons are taught by volunteers and supervised by our knowledgeable staff. The CCC currently offers approximately 25 "kid-driven" activities that can be adapted to any age or grade level. As a result of our program, some of the students have gone on to become naturalists or biologists and continue to visit the Nature Preserve.
The Tending and Gathering Garden (TGG is a collaborative effort between the Native American community and the CCC to demonstrate traditional land and plant management practices of California's native people. Situated on 3-acres in the Cache Creek Nature Preserve, the TGG is home to culturally significant native plants found within the Cache Creek watershed. These plants are used for basketry, food, fiber, shelter, medicine, and watercraft. The TGG serves as a source for cultural practitioners to gather plant material. It also provides a place for hands-on education including plant identification, plant use, and traditional management methods. These practices include pruning, coppicing and burning. No pesticides or herbicides are used in the TGG.