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Progressive and Socially Innovative
The City of Davis was founded in 1868, it was originally named Davisville for Jerome C. Davis, a prominent local farmer. The Davisville post office shortened the town name in 1907 and the change was official when the city incorporated in March 1917. Closely tied to the community's history is the University of California at Davis. UC Davis was established in 1908 as the 'University Farm School'. From its beginnings as an agricultural community, Davis is now recognized internationally for its contributions to life sciences, agriculture, veterinary medicine, biotechnology, medical technology and engineering. Davis is a university-oriented city and has a unique residential community internationally known for a commitment to environmental awareness and implementing progressive and socially innovative programs. The City's quality of life is reflected in its small-town style and many well known symbols: energy conservation, environmental programs, green belts, parks, preservation of trees, British red double-decker buses, bicycle paths, record number of bicycles per capita, and the quality of its educational institutions.
Located in Yolo County, in the Central Valley of northern California, Davis is situated 11 miles west of Sacramento, 385 miles north of Los Angeles, and 72 miles northeast of San Francisco. One major advantage of the Davis region as a place to live and do business is its proximity to major markets. Virtually the entire state of California is within a one-day driving distance. The Sacramento and American Rivers lie to the east along with historic gold country and Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada Mountain range. To the west are the San Francisco Bay area, the great coastal redwood forest, and the beaches and rugged shores of the Pacific Ocean. The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta region lies to the south. There is unparalleled scenic beauty and many recreational opportunities within a few hours drive from Davis. Davis sits in the Pacific Flyway, a major migration route for waterfowl and other North American birds. Several wildlife preserves, offering a natural environment, dot the landscape. In 1999 President Clinton recognized the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area as one of the most successful public-private partnerships for wildlife preservation. It provides habitat for thousands of resident and migratory waterfowl on more than 2500 acres of seasonal and semi -permanent wetlands. The facility is open to the public and provides educational opportunities regarding wetlands and associated wildlife species. The Central Valley is the agricultural heart of the state and provides one of the most highly developed and integrated agricultural systems in the world. The area surrounding Davis has some of the most productive agricultural land in California, sustaining hundreds of different crops . from rice to tomatoes to almonds. Thus conservation of prime agricultural land through limited urban growth is a priority as part of the City's General Plan. Other directives include resource conservation and the efficient use of energy, open spaces and water resources. These priorities have garnered Davis international acclaim for accomplishments in recycling, water conservation, and innovative, energy-saving design.