Wyatt Deck Rendering

Wyatt Deck Renovation

Share Your Wyatt Deck Memory

The Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden invite the public to share any stories or memories they have about Wyatt Deck via an online story portal found on the Arboretum's website.

Welcome back, Wyatt Deck!

We are pleased to announce that the project to replace the two wooden decks of the over 50-year-old Wyatt Deck is now complete. The fences are down and it's ready to welcome visitors back!

Thank you to everyone who contributed to our 2021 "All Welcome on Wyatt Deck" campaign. You did it!

While the decks and pathways are done, there's still more to come. The next phase includes the addition of landscaping and a visitor information kiosk, as well as refreshing the two gazebo structures with a new paint job; roof, shingle, and fascia board repairs; and, retrofitting the east building as an event storage space. This will help transform the structures into ideal staging areas for our students and volunteers hosting free public education programs that focus on the importance of staying healthy outside!

See photos of the accessible decks and new pathway

About the project

Nestled between two of the UC Davis Arboretum's most iconic gardens: the T. Elliot Weier Redwood Grove and the Mary Wattis Brown Garden of California Native Plants, Wyatt Deck has served as a much-loved, nature-based classroom and as host to vibrant community events. But decades of use have taken their toll. (See images of its past condition.)

The original redwood boards were rotting and posed a safety risk. Plus the original design did not enable access for people of all abilities or meet modern building standards. It's time to rebuild Wyatt Deck for new generations of students and visitors!

University maintenance funds covered the replacement of the two open decks and surrounding pathways, which have been redesigned to maximize accessibility. The existing buildings and covered concrete patio areas will be refurbished in the next phase without being removed. Despite the extensive reconstruction, all of the surrounding trees will be preserved.  

New Design

As an homage to the original deck, redwood light fixtures and decking boards were used, but this time, the plan included steel deck supports and accessible pathways that connect the two decks to adjacent gardens and nearby bathrooms. (See the architectural renderings of Wyatt Deck.)

Accessibility Features

A new east-west path, laid with the Arboretum's signature pavers, provide access to the lower deck and complete a continuous accessible path that stretches from the Arboretum GATEway Garden to Mrak Hall Drive. Another accessible path connects the decks to the Wyatt Pavilion and the restrooms located there. In addition, two new ramps were installed, one connecting the new brick path with the bikeway along Arboretum Drive and the other providing access from the upper deck to Wyatt Plaza. On the decks, seating was designed for wheelchair users to sit alongside the benches. Future accessibility projects will improve the Wyatt Pavilion Footbridge and the paths surrounding it.

Download the plan that calls out the accessibility improvement locations.

Wyatt Deck offers the ideal, accessible destination that encourages community connection and inspires environmental education for future generations.

All Welcome on Wyatt Deck!

Accessibility FAQ
  • Why is the Wyatt Deck Renovation an accessibility project?
  • Many of the Arboretum paths and infrastructure were built several decades before the Americans with Disabilities Act passed in 1990. As part of UC Davis’ commitment to accessibility, we renovated Wyatt Deck and the associated east-west path to bring them in line with ADA standards.
  • What are the accessibility improvements?
  • The redesign places a lower deck directly off a new, accessible east-west brick path, so there will be no barriers to enjoying the lower deck closest to the water. The upper deck is now accessible from the main Wyatt Plaza off of Arboretum Drive via a new ADA-accessible ramp. Another accessible ramp connects the new brick path to Arboretum Drive. This new brick path and accessible ramps join other accessibility improvements to the Arboretum that completes an accessible route stretching from the Arboretum GATEway Garden and the city of Davis, all the way to Mrak Hall Drive. In addition, we ensured the path of travel from the deck to the universal-access bathroom at the Wyatt Pavilion is accessible and designed the deck's bench seating to accommodate wheelchairs. 

    Download the plan that calls out the accessibility improvement locations.

  • Why did you put stairs near the south side of the Wyatt footbridge?
  • In order to make the east-west path ADA compliant, with a less than 5% slope along the entire alignment, we needed to raise the elevation of the landing on the south side of the bridge. Raising the landing necessitated building steps to allow people to continue onto the footbridge. A future bridge replacement project will raise the elevation of the new bridge to the same elevation as the landing at the top of the stairs. When that project is built, the stairs will be removed.

  • Why aren't all the new paths accessible?
  • There is now a small path that connects the end of the Wyatt Footbridge with the Redwood Grove which is not ADA-accessible because the footbridge itself is not ADA compliant. (Neither the cross-slope nor the handrail design meet current guidelines.) In addition, the 1960’s-era asphalt ramps leading down to the bridge are too steep. In the future we will replace the footbridge and the ramps to make them ADA accessible and currently have a concept designed. 

Additional information: