The history of the Jan T. Lowrey Cache Creek Nature Preserve is rich and diverse and reflective of the layered stories and landscapes across California. Today, the 130-acre site bordering Cache Creek outside Woodland is a rural idyll, a natural landscape chockfull of native plants, birds, and animals that masks a contested past.
On Saturday, October 20, from noon to 6 p.m., visitors to the Cache Creek Nature Preserve will be able to see that past unfold as the UC Davis Art of Regional Change and the Cache Creek Conservancy unveil a collaborative, multimedia project titled “Restore/Restory: A People’s History of the Cache Creek Nature Preserve.” The afternoon festival will showcase the stories of Yolo County’s peoples, traditions, and relationship to the land through site-based audio tours, interactive art murals, nature and culture walks, and story circles.
In the works for more than a year, the storytelling project has brought together UC Davis students, faculty, and artists with members of the Cache Creek Conservancy as well as a cross-section of Yolo County residents (Native leaders, miners, farmers, environmental activists, and policymakers) in creating a shared vision of the past. That public history, consisting of a story map, audio tours, digital murals, and a timeline of images, maps and historical documents, will be unveiled during the festival on the project’s new website: http://restorerestory.org.
“We have involved over 200 residents in co-creating a public history that brings to life a mosaic of experiences with a place we have in common. The Preserve is a tangible reminder of our past,” said Project Director jesikah maria ross. “While the preserve may not be known for a single historic event, witnessing its social and ecological history helps us understand who we are and consider the lessons learned as we move forward as a community.”
Lynnel Pollock, executive director of the Cache Creek Conservancy, is looking forward to sharing the results of the project with the community. “This site has had an exciting and varied past, and now it will be shared with the general public," said Pollock. “The history and art work generated through this project will really help the Conservancy in its efforts to promote stewardship of our natural and cultural resources.”
Free and open to the public, the event located at the Cache Creek Nature Preserve, 34199 County Road 20, Woodland, will also feature live music, hands-on activities for youth, basket-weaving demonstrations, and guest speakers. A joint collaboration between the UC Davis Art of Regional Change and the Cache Creek Conservancy, the public event also is sponsored by the UC Humanities Research Institute with additional support from Tuleyome, the Putah Creek Council, and the Yolo County Historical Society. Restore/Restory was funded by the UC Institute for Research in the Arts and the Quitalpás Foundation.