Environmental Quality Protection, Beautification

Cache Creek Conservancy

  • Woodland, CA
  • www.cachecreekconservancy.org

Mission Statement

The mission of the Cache Creek Conservancy is to preserve, restore, enhance, and promote the stewardship of lands within the Cache Creek watershed.

Main Programs

  1. Riparian Restoration
  2. Environmental Education
  3. Management of the Cache Creek Nature Preserve
  4. Tending and Gathering Garden
  5. Restore/Restory Project
Service Areas

Self-reported

California

Primarly Yolo County and the surrounding region including Sacramento, Solano, and Colusa counties.

ruling year

1996

Executive Director

Self-reported

Mrs. Lynnel Pollock

Keywords

Self-reported

Environmental Education, Riparian Restoration, Wetlands

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EIN

68-0374372

 Number

8537171013

Physical Address

34199 County Rd 20

Woodland, CA 95695

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

Environmental Education and Outdoor Survival Programs (C60)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

The programs of the Cache Creek Conservancy are aligned with our overall mission of stewardship of Cache Creek and the surrounding lands. Specific projects support our restoration component of restoring or enhancing habitat lands, aiding the development of a continuous sustainable vegetated corridor along Cache Creek. Educational programs provide many opportunities to instill in people of all ages, especially school children, an ethic of stewardship of our natural resources, an appreciation for the flora and fauna that surrounds us, and ongoing learning about our outdoor world. These successful programs have resulted in increases in our benchmark numbers, continual funding support, and a positive working relationship with landowners, other organizations, and local government.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Riparian Restoration

The CCC is dedicated to restoring the lower part of Cache Creek working under a plan adopted by Yolo County.  We “put the plan on the ground,” and manage the project including permitting, site analysis, funding and financial management, procurement of supplies and labor, implementation, and final reporting.

Category

Watershed Conservation

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

None

None

Budget

$130,000.00

Program 2

Environmental Education

The CCC offers a comprehensive environmental education experience for pre-school through high school age students focused on the ecology, culture, and history of the Cache Creek watershed.  The program is under the guidance of a credentialed teacher and is in compliance with the California standards based curriculum for K-12 students.

Category

Environmental Education

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

General Public/Unspecified

None

Budget

$33,775.00

Program 3

Management of the Cache Creek Nature Preserve

The CCC manages the Jan T. Lowrey Cache Creek Nature Preserve, a rich and diverse 130-acre reserve that provides a sanctuary for wildlife, as well as an area for people to experience nature along Cache Creek.  The CCC has restored this former gravel mining site which serves as the location for our environmental education program as well as an area open to the general public.

Category

Natural Resources Conservation & Protection

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

None

None

Budget

$45,790.00

Program 4

Tending and Gathering Garden

The Tending and Gathering Garden, located on the grounds of the Cache Creek Nature Preserve, is a collaborative effort between the Native American community and the CCC to demonstrate traditional land and plan management practices of California’s native people.  This area has been restored with culturally significant native plants found within the watershed.

Category

Plant Conservation

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

Native Americans/American Indians

None

Budget

$31,000.00

Program 5

Restore/Restory Project

The Restore/Restory is a community media project that documents the changing cultural, political, and physical landscape of the Cache Creek Nature Preserve.  It is a collaboration between the UC Davis Art of Regional Change (ARC) and the CCC to bring students, scholars and artists together with a diverse cross-section of Yolo County residents to co-create an interactive public history website and associated audio tour of the Preserve.

Category

History & Historical Programs

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

None

None

Budget

$26,380.00

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    The mission of the CCC is to preserve, restore, enhance, and promote the stewardship of lands within the Cache Creek watershed. We accomplish this mission with activities in three major areas; restoration, land management, and education/outreach.

    Restoration activities include the removal of non-native plants, revegetation with native plants, and monitoring the success of these actions. Our goal in the next five years is less than 5% of ground cover attributed to non-native species. Revegetation will include planting a variety of appropriate natives. The long term outcome of restoration is a sustainable riparian corridor of diverse native plants providing habitat for wildlife.

    Land management activities involve the 130 acre Cache Creek Nature Preserve owned by Yolo County and managed by CCC as an area that provides a sanctuary for wildlife as well as a site for people to experience nature along Cache Creek. This site has been enhanced with public amenities such as trails, a boardwalk in the wetlands, visitor center, and restored barn for gatherings. Restoration of much of the site has occurred, the goals for the next five years will be to maintain the existing native flora and enhance approximately 40 acres of riparian corridor by removal of invasive weeds followed by planting of native plants. The outcome will be a Preserve that is fully restored with a flourishing palette of native plants, thereby resulting in an enhanced streamside environment.

    The CCC manages approximately 100 acres of other lands owned by Yolo County. These sites are currently not open to public use, and maintenance consists primarily of weed control. Yolo County is working on a long term strategy to allow some limited public access. The goals for the next five years will include the development of an overall plan for these properties, better wildlife habitat resulting from weed control and natural recruitment of native plants, and limited public access trails in certain areas. An important outcome from all these activities will be the development and/or enhancement of the continuous habitat corridor thereby providing greater shade for the creek fishery, better passageway for wildlife, and improved nesting and foraging for birds. A second outcome is additional public access to natural areas.

    Education and outreach goals are two-fold; one is to increase the number of students and adults who participate in the various activities/programs/workshops offered by CCC. The second is to continually improve the quality of the programming, including new and exciting topics all of which lead to the better understanding by the participant of their outdoor natural world. Within five years, our goal is to see a 50% increase in the number of people served. The long term outcome will be a greater number of people better informed about the environment, the importance of good stewardship of our natural resources, and a commitment to preserve and protect our outdoor world.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    Strategies utilized can be summed up by having the best people, sufficient resources, and a policy framework to guide and support the work that the Conservancy does. A major strategy is having a diverse, dedicated, informed board of directors. Five years ago the board members with professional guidance adopted a strategic plan that has served well as a guiding document. Providing this “road map” of where we are going and the tasks needed to achieve these outcomes has been instrumental in moving forward.

    A well-trained competent work force to carry out the day to day activities of the CCC is fundamental to our success as an organization. Management will strive to hire, train, and guide employees to succeed in their roles.

    Adequate funding is necessary to provide the resources needed to put our projects and programs in place. Staff needs a safe, appropriate work place with the necessary equipment to carry out their jobs. Grant funding is needed to put projects such as weed removal and planting of native species on the ground. Grant writing is an important element in our overall strategy to build on the work already done. Other funding mechanisms include collaboration with other organizations and leveraging existing funds to accomplish larger projects.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    The CCC has the capacity to achieve our long term goals. Current assets that contribute to this ability include an updated, comprehensive governance structure. A few years ago the Conservancy with outside expertise conducted a thorough governance review resulting in updated by-laws, improved committee structure and appropriate policies. These materials serve as the foundation for strong commitment and support from an engaged, dynamic board of directors. The Conservancy is also fortunate to have a very dedicated staff that brings knowledge and expertise to the organization. Ongoing staff training and development increases the value of staff to the overall organizational capabilities. A financial plan developed as part of a strategic planning process in 2006 along with prudent financial management has resulted in reserve funds sufficient to carry on normal operations for a significant period of time. Our communication network continues to be enhanced and upgraded. We developed and launched a new website in 2012, and continue to add to the information it contains. We also communicate with several hundred people through our quarterly newsletter and our facebook page.

    Collaborations with other organizations have been an important part of our past successes. The CCC has worked with several organizations such as the Yolo County Resource Conservation District, the Yolo County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, and the Center for Land-Based Learning on specific restoration projects. Our partnership with Yolo County has been ongoing as we implement their plan on the creek corridor, as we manage their lands, and as we work together on future plans for the area. The CCC manages an endowment fund for the Cache Creek Nature Preserve which is owned by the County. The CCC also interfaces with many other organizations and agencies as well as maintaining good communications with all the private landowners in the area.

    In the future, the CCC expects to expand its work with Yolo County in land management as more lands come into County ownership. The CCC is working on a certification from the California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife to hold mitigation easements for Swainson’s hawk. This will enable to CCC to provide another valuable service in the conservation of lands.

    The CCC was founded in 1996 so has already experienced close to twenty years of growth as an organization. The ongoing growth in ability to put restoration projects on the ground, to provide free workshops and educational programming to an increasing number of students per year, and to continually provide an outdoor experience for many demonstrates the stability and capacity of the CCC.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    Key indicators that the CCC employs in the restoration work we do are oftentimes dependent on specific site and specific project, but what is tracked most often are the following quantitative measurements: number of acres restored or enhanced, number of linear feet of stream bank restored or enhanced, percent removal of invasive weeds, and increase in number and/or diversity of birds. Interim targets are aligned with the goal of achieving a continuous vegetated habitat corridor along the creek. Each new piece that is restored adds to this connectivity, and project sites are often chosen because of their ability to increase a habitat node along the creek. Interim success is also measured by the increase in numbers and diversity of birds, because this is usually the first indicator that the natural habitat has been improved to the point where it is attracting wildlife. This measure of success is oftentimes seen within one to two years of successful completion of habitat improvement measures.

    Outreach activities are tracked by several indicators including number of elementary students served per year, number of high school students participating in a program per year, number of classes scheduled per year, number of workshop participants, and overall number of visitors to the Nature Preserve per year. Each of these categories should show some growth; if not, measures are taken to analyze why and address any issues.

    On the internal, administrative side we track increase in reserve funds, increase in the Nature Preserve endowment fund, and amount of board member participation both in attendance at meetings and percent donations. We also have an active volunteer program and track number of volunteers and number of volunteer hours per year. An active board and a robust volunteer program add to the overall effectiveness of the work we do and the programming we provide. Grant funding is another area that is critical to our overall mission, and success in achieving these funds is an interim step in achieving our long term goals.

    All of these indicators are reviewed by the Board of Directors and used to measure the overall progress in achieving our goals. The Board with input from staff will consider change if needed, utilizing an adaptive management approach to meet desired outcomes.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    Progress is working towards a well managed, adequately funded, involved organization that provides the services envisioned, collaborates with others, provides leadership in its field, and is a model for non-profit governance. Near term objectives have been met by successful grant applications that have funded a start to the long-term restoration efforts along Cache Creek. Funding over the years has allowed for the removal and now annual maintenance to keep invasive weeds out of the creek corridor. This funding has provided on-the- ground projects that have contributed to our long term goals. Additional funding from various grant sources has allowed for site specific restoration involving planting and maintenance for a period of time. One of our biggest challenges is securing adequate funding to continue the work we have started. While we have increased the number of grants that we are applying for, the available funding has decreased. To meet this need, we have improved on our ability to write grants and also leverage matching funds from some of our partners along the creek.

    Other grants have provided funds for our education program, thereby allowing children to receive hands-on activities at the Nature Preserve free of charge. This program has grown over time, with refinement and addition of specific activity stations along with the development of a core group of volunteers that lead the stations. Other programming involves activities/workshops for people of all ages focusing on a specific topic at various Open Days at the Preserve. These activities support our long term goal of having a well-educated, knowledgeable public that is better able to understand the issues around watershed protection, water quality, protection of natural lands, and restoration of habitat. Again, funding is our biggest challenge as we strive to meet the needs of serving an ever increasing number of people. A larger, better equipped Visitor Center has long been an objective, but does not seem attainable in the near term. While it may seem almost an afterthought, one of our biggest desires is to have real toilets for the public. We have used rented porta-potties for a number of years. The capital investment in a building is too great for us to manage right now, but we hold this out as a future objective. Eventually, trail development will need to be undertaken on lands that we will manage in the future. Our partnership with Yolo County is strong and productive, and by working together we anticipate meeting the objectives involved with managing more acres of land that will eventually be owned by the County.
Service Areas

Self-reported

California

Primarly Yolo County and the surrounding region including Sacramento, Solano, and Colusa counties.

Social Media

Funding Needs

The CCC relies heavily on grant funding to meet its program needs.  Our restoration work is done with specific grant funds obtained from a variety of sources, including state and federal grants, local agencies, and private foundations.  Work is also done under a contract agreement with the Yolo County.  The Cache Creek Area Plan was adopted by Yolo County in 1996, and our work is an implementation of this plan as funds become available.  We continually seek funds for needed projects along the riparian corridor.       Our other major funding source comes from the aggregate (gravel mining) industry along Cache Creek.  Funding is based on the amount of gravel sold which has decreased by half with the downturn in the economy.  We have gone from five to three full-time staff members, and rely on two part-time employees.  This has meant that we are not doing as much work along the riparian corridor and are not doing as much public outreach and education as we have done in the past.

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

CACHE CREEK CONSERVANCY
Fiscal year: Jan 01-Dec 31
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Cache Creek Conservancy

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2014, 2013 and 2013
  • Board Chair, Board Co-Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Executive Director

Mrs. Lynnel Pollock

BIO

Lynnel serves as the executive director of Cache Creek Conservancy, providing oversight and general management, ensuring that all objectives are met.  Lynnel was a founding board member of the Conservancy in 1996 and served on the board until her appointment as executive director in February of 2006. 

Lynnel has an agricultural and community service background, including eight years on the Yolo County Board of Supervisors.  She also served on the State of California Industrial Welfare Commission.  Lynnel has been involved with many other organizations including the Yolo County Farm Bureau, California Farm Bureau, Yolo Land Trust, Woodland Chamber of Commerce, and various water related entities. 
 
She has a BA degree in biological sciences from Stanford University, and participated in the California Agricultural Leadership Program.

STATEMENT FROM THE Executive Director

"The Cache Creek Conservancy has two major missions—restoration along Cache Creek and environmental education. Both are accomplished with a “hands-on” approach. As to restoration, we put projects on the ground; we work along the riparian corridor with all the landowners as our partners. Our educational program is also very outdoors oriented with various teaching stations geared to different age levels. Students learn by doing, acquiring a unique perspective of the nature around them."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Meg Stallard

Self Employeed

Term: Jan 2013 - Dec 2015

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization

Yes

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

No

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?


ORGANIZATIONAL DEMOGRAPHICS

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

Gender
Race & Ethnicity
Sexual Orientation

We do not display sexual orientation information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Diversity Strategies
Yes
We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
No
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
No
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
No
We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
No
We have a diversity committee in place
No
We have a diversity manager in place
No
We have a diversity plan