Yuba Watershed Experience Center

In an effort to enhance the educational experience for all Yuba County residents, especially youth, and to create opportunities to learn about, explore and develop an appreciation for the natural resources available in Yuba County, a collaborative group of various organizations passionate about the Yuba River watershed has joined together to develop the Yuba Watershed Experience program.

Modeled after similar educational facilities such as the Sonoma Water Westside Education Center in Healdsburg, and interpretive centers like Big Break Regional Shoreline Visitor Center in Oakley, this facility will provide curriculum and activities for all grade levels, as well as a first-class riverfront facility for field trips, offering hands-on experiences to solidify the lessons learned in the classroom. Additionally, the facility could be designed to accommodate conferences, leadership retreats, recreational opportunities and more.

Westside Water Education CenterThe initial partners in planning for this concept include: Yuba Water Agency, Yuba County Office of Education, Yuba Community College District, South Yuba River Citizens League, Yuba River Endowment and the superintendents from school districts throughout Yuba County.

(Images: the Yuba Watershed Experience Center was inspired by facilities like these)


Enlightening people of all ages to the wonders of the Yuba River watershed through experiential, interactive, educational adventures.


Education Goals

The educational goals of this program are to enhance educational opportunities for the residents of Yuba County, with curriculum opportunities in science, technology, engineering, art, math, environment, culture and history, using the Yuba River as the foundation for the experience.

Target audiences include: K-12 schools, college students, and even career prepatory programs. K-12 programming will be designed to meet state standards, ensuring that the programs assist the schools in curriculum programming without creating a resource or funding constraint.

Community Goals

The center is also envisioned as a place to support our efforts in improving Yuba County’s quality of life and economic prosperity, and to spark community pride. Residents will hopefully gain a better understanding of the critical importance of water, develop a strong appreciation for the natural resources in their own community and have a beautiful, riverside escape they enjoy visiting.

Next Steps/ Timeline

2020: Launched a curriculum development program, hiring local teachers to develop curriculum for all grades that is based on the Yuba River watershed. 

2020: Potential land for the Watershed Experience Center identified at Hammon Grove Park just outside of Marysville. The land is currently owned by the Bureau of Land Management, a federal agency that is very interested in supporting this project.

2020-21: Master planning process.

December, 2021: The master plan concept was presented to the Yuba Water Agency Board of Directors. 

2022: Yuba Water and Yuba County continue working with the Bureau of Land Management to secure the land; the Yuba Water Agency Board of Directors will consider how to proceed with the facility as part of their strategic planning process. 

The Master Plan Concept 

The master plan concept can be viewed here.

This concept was developed with significant input from school administrators, teachers, students, parents, community representatives, Native American tribes, and other stakeholders. Their input helped define the overarching goals and the vision of what the center could be in both the short and long-term. 

For those who are interested in understanding the master planning process, scroll through the content below or visit the Yuba Watershed Experience Center website to follow the entire progression, from concept to the completion of the master plan. 

A teacher hands a student a cup of water next to the riverFunding and Needs

The Yuba Water Board of Directors has not determined yet how much it will allocate for this project or when/how much of it to build. It is anticipated that this will be a phased, multi-million-dollar project, with long-term funding requirements of several hundred thousand dollars per year for operations and maintenance. Once it is determined exactly what Yuba Water Agency plans to build, we will seek grants and funding partners to help. 

  1. DeDe Cordell

    Communications Manager