The recent Tule Canal Charrette brought 71 stakeholders with interests from flood control to agriculture to wildlife habitat together over two days for a dynamic virtual workshop. It resulted in a remarkable synthesis of ideas captured in an Executive Summary and Full Report just released by Yolo County.
“Charrette is a term used in landscape design and architecture. It’s a fancy way of saying a design workshop.” Explained Elisa Sabatini, Yolo County’s resource manager, “It was fascinating to be part of a process that engaged so many people but came together around a vision for the Tule Canal.”
It was the final task in an update to the Yolo Bypass Drainage and Water Infrastructure Improvement Study Update, and Yolo County Resource Conservation District and Yolo Basin Foundation staff participated. Our staff were key to stakeholder outreach, conducting hours of interviews with landowners in the Bypass. This was incorporated in the Study Update and served as the foundation for the workshop design. Consultants Robert Suarez and Teal Brown Zimring created a series of exercises that allowed 10 workgroups to envision what a future multi-functional Tule Canal could look like.
The outcomes included support for three actions: a multi-functional Tule Canal, a Yolo Bypass strategic plan, and a Yolo Bypass governing entity. A vision was synthesized from the contributions of the 10 workgroups: We envision a transformed Tule Canal as an integrated corridor, which engages people, sustains farmers, protects property, and provides diverse wildlife habitat.
The next steps of developing a strategic plan for a multi-functional Tule Canal and creating a governing entity for the Bypass will be pursued by Yolo County staff Elisa Sabatini. “We look forward to staying engaged in the process,” said Robin Kulakow/Heather Nichols “and we will keep landowners involved in the next steps.”
Contact Doug Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in participating in future workshops or have questions about these reports.