Yolo Basin Foundation was founded in 1990 as a community based organization to assist in the establishment of the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area. We are universally credited with being the driving force behind the partnership that created the Yolo Wildlife Area. Our most significant cooperation is with the California Department of Fish & Wildlife, who currently manages the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area.
Yolo Basin Foundation continues as the communication link between many people and organizations involved in creating wetlands and managing the land in the Yolo Bypass.
A principal goal of the Foundation is facilitating environmental education in the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area for all ages.
In August 1997, we held the first of our Discover the Flyway teacher workshops, which introduce area teachers to the Wildlife Area and prepares them to bring their classes out for exciting and productive field studies.
In its first year, the Discover the Flyway school program hosted 800 students between October 1997 and June of 1998. Since our pilot year, the school program has expanded to over 4,000 Kindergarten through 12th-grade students annually. Yolo Basin Foundation staff, interns and dedicated volunteers assist students in hands-on learning activities at our demonstration wetlands and lead students on exploratory Wildlife Area walks.
In addition to our popular Discover the Flyway program, Yolo Basin Foundation is the sponsoring non-profit organization for California Duck Days, publishes the Yolo Flyway newsletter, brings wetlands education to the classroom with our Wild About Wetlands kits, introduces the public to natural places in the community through public field trips, and hosts the Flyway Nights speaker series.
The Foundation facilitates the Yolo Bypass Working Group meetings, which provide a focused opportunity for farmers, land owners and agencies within the Yolo Bypass to discuss Bypass related issues as well as provide guidance and opinions on such issues.
- 1994 California Department of Fish and Game Conservation Award
- 1995 U.S. Department of Interior Wetlands Conservation Award for the private sector.
- 1995 Award for Excellence in nonprofit management from San Francisco Management Center and Chevron.
- 1996 Outstanding Implementation Project for the Comprehensive Conservation management Plan for the San Francisco Bay Estuary by Friends of the San Francisco Estuary at State of the Estuary Conference in San Francisco.
- 2000 Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award for its work with the Yolo Bypass Working Group.
- 2002 City of Davis Environmental Recognition Award
- 2002 California Department of Fish and Game Conservation Award in recognition of the Foundation’s efforts on behalf of the Nature Bowl.
- 2007 Conservationist of the Year Award from the Wildlife Society, Western Section. This award is presented by the Western Section to a person or group, engaged in wildlife conservation either as a profession or as an avocation, who has made an outstanding contribution to wildlife conservation in California, Nevada, Hawaii or Guam.
- 2011 Central Valley Joint Venture Conservation Award 2011 to Robin Kulakow and Yolo Basin Foundation.