Consero Solutions specializes in helping local governments and non-profit organizations pursue public policy priorities, including implementation of organizational improvements, management of projects from concept to construction, and development of funding strategies.
Yolo Habitat Conservation Plan/Natural Community Conservation Plan
The Yolo Habitat Conservancy hired Consero Solutions in 2012 to complete the Yolo Habitat Conservation Plan and Natural Community Conservation Plan (Yolo HCP/NCCP). Consero Solutions helped secure $10 million in state and federal grants between 2012 and 2019 and led the Conservancy’s efforts to complete the plan in 2018. The final plan and associated Endangered Species Act permits will result in a new program in Yolo County that streamlines permitting of infrastructure and other development for all four cities and the County, as well as permanently protects 32,000 acres of habitat for 12 endangered or threatened species. The HCP/NCCP received the 2020 Award of Merit for Innovation in Green Community Planning by the American Planning Association California Chapter, as well as the Sacramento Valley APA Section Award of Excellence in the same category.
Yolo County Water Resources Association Proposition 1 Storm Water Planning Grant
On behalf of the City of Davis and the County of Yolo, Consero Solutions worked with the Yolo County Water Resources Association (WRA) to recommend development of a Proposition 1 Storm Water Grant Program application that was ultimately awarded $300,000 from the State Water Resources Control Board. The purpose of this project is to facilitate the development of a Storm Water Resource Plan with the goal of alleviating countywide localized flooding, groundwater, and water quality issues through multi benefit storm water management. Completion of the plan will allow the County and its partners to access grant funds earmarked for storm water management projects.
City of Davis City Hall Campus Improvement Projects
Consero Solutions worked with City of Davis staff to develop the Russell Boulevard Green Street Demonstration Project, providing assistance with a successful $300,283 grant application to the California Natural Resource Agency’s Urban Rivers Program. The Project incorporates numerous sustainable, low-impact development improvements intended to preserve watershed processes and provide multiple urban watershed benefits on the City Hall campus. The project is scheduled for construction in 2021.
Sacramento Ride the Route
At the request of a West Sacramento City Council member, Consero Solutions helped with project management for the Ride the Route event, which encouragedlocal citizens to ride their bicycles along the proposed route of the new Downtown Sacramento street car. Consero's work included coordinating meetings with project sponsors and the core team, creating a route map for the event, editing marketing materials, assisting with event staffing, and providing leadership and management of event day activities.
Grasslands Regional Park Burrowing Owl Reserve Management
Consero Solutions worked with the Yolo County General Services Department to resolve issues with local stakeholders regarding the management of a 60-acre reserve for burrowing owls on Grasslands Regional Park. Consero brought together representatives from the Burrowing Owl Preservation Society, the Yolo County Resource Conservation District, the University of California at Davis, the City of Davis, and Yolo County staff to develop management recommendations acceptable to all parties. The recommendations improved existing management.
Paradise Cut Easement Acquisition
Consero Solutions worked with the San Joaquin County Resource Conservation District to manage over $2 million for the initial phase of a multi-benefit floodplain restoration project adjacent to the San Joaquin River. In partnership with American Rivers, the Resource Conservation District secured state funding for the Paradise Cut Conservation and Flood Management Plan and the Paradise Cut Flood and Easement Acquisition project. Project management included collaborating with American Rivers, Resource Conservation District, and Delta Conservancy staff members, assisting with contracts and budget, maintaining task completion timelines, and coordinating with subcontractors and project stakeholders.
Visit Yolo Organizational Evaluation
Consero Solutions helped Visit Yolo evaluate existing operations and identify opportunities to improve governance and management as part of its transition to a Tourism Business Improvement District. In addition to completing a memo outlining opportunities to improve operations, Consero assisted an attorney with the development of new bylaws, worked with staff to complete a new financial policies and procedures manual, helped implement internal controls, and developed a new governance structure for the Board of Directors. Consero also provided Executive Director support services, assisted with the development of annual budgets and financial reports, and drafted Board meeting materials as needed.
Putah Creek Council Governance Improvements
Consero Solutions helped the Putah Creek Council, a nonprofit working to enhance and restore the Putah Creek watershed, improve governance and operations. Consero completed a thorough review of financial policies, Board of Directors procedures, the employee handbook, the budget, and other organizational materials, as well as conducted interviews with Board members and staff. The evaluation resulted in a memo outlining 30 opportunities to improve management of the Council in three categories: finances, human resources, and governance. The Board of Directors adopted and implemented all 30 recommendations.
I-80 Richards Boulevard Multi-Modal Interchange Improvement Project
Consero Solutions assisted the City of Davis with preparing a successful application for over $5 million dollars to the 2018 Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) Regional Grant Program for the I-80 Richards Boulevard Multi-Modal Interchange Improvement Project. Work included convening key stakeholders, preparing and disseminating all meeting materials, securing letters of support from community partners, and reviewing and editing the application.
City of Davis Urban Forest Management Plan and Tree Planting Project
Consero Solutions assisted the City of Davis Parks & Community Services Department with preparing a successful $514,116 application to the CAL FIRE Urban Forestry program, funded by Proposition 68. Consero oversaw the entire application process by developing a timeline, convening regular meetings of the project team, preparing and disseminating all meeting materials, writing proposal narrative, assisting with the development of a project budget, and compiling and editing all application components. With the grant the City will develop a new, 40-year City urban forest management plan and plant 1000 trees with the assistance of key project partner Tree Davis.
Knights Landing Boat Launch
Consero Solutions assisted Yolo County Parks with the management of a $1.4 million Wildlife Conservation Board grant to improve the Knights Landing Boat Launch, resulting in the 2020 construction of a new, expanded boat ramp, a bathroom, interpretative signage, and drought-tolerant landscaping. Consero helped Yolo County Parks secure the initial grant and provided assistance with permitting, project management, and public outreach. Located on the Sacramento River in Yolo County, the site is a launchpoint for the Delta, attracting as many as 28,000 visitors annually from Yolo County as well as Solano County, Napa County, and Sacramento County.
Yolo Bypass Westside Tributaries Flow Monitoring Project
On behalf of Yolo County and the University of California, Davis Center for Watershed Sciences, Consero Solutions completed a full proposal to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for Proposition 1 funding, resulting in a $331,148 award to Yolo County. Consero will assist Yolo County with management of the project over the three-year grant period. The grant will result in the collection and analysis of previously uncollected data on four westside tributaries to the Yolo Bypass: Putah Creek, Cache Creek, Knights Landing Ridge Cut Canal, and Willow Slough Bypass. This data and the modeling it supports will be used to inform management decisions in the Yolo Bypass Project.
Grasslands Regional Park Vernal Pool Education
Consero Solutions helped Yolo County Parks, in partnership with the Yolo Basin Foundation, secure a $65,200 California State Parks Department grant to support a new docent-led vernal pool education program at Grasslands Regional Park. The program will provide hands-on, inquiry-based science education to over 7,000 urban and suburban residents over the four-year grant period. Consero facilitated the partnership between Yolo County Parks and the Yolo Basin Foundation, assisted with the grant application, and secured support from additional partners.
Grasslands Regional Park Trail System
In coordination with Yolo County staff, Consero Solutions prepared a successful $107,083 request to the California State Parks and Recreation’s Habitat Conservation Fund for the development of a new trail system and dog park in Grasslands Regional Park. Consero Solutions drafted the proposal, collaborated with local stakeholders to obtain input on the proposed trail, and consulted with State Parks to ensure project consistency with program priorities. This trail system will be the first trail at the 600-acre park and will provide the public unique access to view and experience one of the last remaining undisturbed remnants of California prairie that historically characterized the region.
Solano County Affordable Housing
Consero Solutions assisted Solano County with identifying options to construct affordable housing for communities the County serves, including veterans, aging out foster youth, low-income working families, and people who are unhoused and suffering from mental illness, substance abuse, or physical disability. As part of this effort, Consero identified and evaluated funding opportunities, analyzed the 2019-20 state budget and housing trailer bills, interviewed County staff to assess the current status of affordable housing in Solano, researched best practices and consulted experts in the fields of affordable housing and homelessness, interviewed four other counties about their affordable housing efforts, and incorporated findings into a memorandum to the County Board of Supervisors outlining options for next steps. The presentation resulted in the Solano County Board of supervisors directing staff to hire a "housing czar" and take steps towards the development of a countywide plan to address affordable housing needs
Yolo County Rural Initiatives Program
Consero Solutions worked with Yolo County staff to develop the Yolo County Rural Initiatives Program, including evaluation of applications for funding from rural communities, collaboration with local applicants, and identification of state and federal funding opportunities to leverage General Fund resources. Consero Solutions helped Yolo County staff prioritize projects and develop recommendations for Board of Supervisor approval in 2016. As a result of this work, the Board of Supervisors approved $171,290 for eight important projects in the rural communities of Esparto, Dunnigan, Clarksburg, Knights Landing, and Madison.
Yolo County Revenue Development Strategy
In the 2016-17 Strategic Plan, the Yolo County Board of Supervisors identified as a top priority an effort to raise funds from community organizations, businesses, and individuals to help implement important County services and provide matching funds for state and federal grants. Consero Solutions researched similar programs in other cities and counties and drafted a report outlining options for developing such a program.
Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area Habitat and Drainage Improvement Project
In addition to helping to secure $3.7 million in grant funding, Consero Solutions created and implemented a stakeholder outreach strategy to promote the multi-agency partnership that resulted in the construction of the Yolo Wildlife Area Habitat and Drainage Improvement Project in 2020. Consero developed the communications plan and public outreach materials, including a social media campaign.
Yolo Habitat Conservancy State Advocacy Program
On behalf of the Yolo Habitat Conservancy, Consero Solutions worked with the California Habitat Conservation Planning Coalition to secure $52 million in Proposition 68 funding for implementation of Habitat Conservation Plans and Natural Community Conservation Plans. The Conservancy and the Coalition are also working to secure state funding through the annual budget process. The funding would assist with the implementation of HCPs and NCCPs throughout California. Consero Solutions continues to help the Coalition advocate for statewide conservation priorities.
City of Davis Legislative Platform
Consero Solutions assisted the City of Davis with developing and implementing a state legislative platform and advocacy policy in 2019 and 2020. Over the course of eight months, Consero worked closely with City staff and the Legislative Subcommittee to solicit and review draft legislative proposals from department heads, prioritize the proposals, develop them into a legislative platform, and help the City implement its platform by preparing fact sheets, convening meetings with legislators and legislative staffers to discuss proposals and pending legislation, and engaging in community outreach to enlist supporters. The platform resulted in the ability to increase fees for a downtown parking structure, changes to grant guidelines to improve eligibility, and an increase in the cap on regional planning grants.
City of Davis Comprehensive Funding Plan
Consero Solutions completed three Comprehensive Funding Plans for the City of Davis, first in 2016, again in 2018, and most recently in 2020, which have resulted in over $16.5 million in secured funding and numerous pending grant applications. Consero helped the City develop project priorities, matched the priorities to grant opportunities, and worked with Department heads and the City Manager to finalize the Plan. The Plan includes projects proposed by the City Manager's Office and the Community Development, Open Space, Parks & Community Services, Fire, and Public Works departments. Consero is now in the process of working with City staff to implement the Plan to reflect new City priority projects and new funding opportunities.
As a result of a staff shortage, Consero Solutions worked with the San Joaquin County Resource Conservation District to manage over $2 million for the initial phase of a multi-benefit floodplain restoration project adjacent to the San Joaquin River. In partnership with American Rivers, the Resource Conservation District secured state funding for the Paradise Cut Conservation and Flood Management Plan and the Paradise Cut Flood and Easement Acquisition project. Staff support included assisting with contracts and budget, maintaining task completion timelines, and coordinating with subcontractors and project stakeholders.
Yolo COVID-19 Nonprofit Relief Initiative
In coordination with the Yolo Community Foundation, Consero Solutions developed a new emergency grant program on an expedited four-week schedule. The program resulted in the distribution of over $400,000 in funding to local nonprofits affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Program development entailed development of a detailed Action Plan approved by local agency staff and elected officials, the design of new website pages, development of a social media outreach toolkit, a governance structure, and a fundraising strategy.