National Park City Journey Book

Last week was a great experience with burgeoning National Park Cities from around the world sharing their work for National Park City Week. One of the best outcomes was that we now have a guide for how to become a National Park City in Sacramento – the National Park City Journey Book. It’s an inspiring piece of work that explains the path we will need to follow to designate Sacramento National Park City and should give you an idea of how you can contribute. Take a look and let’s start down the path!

Community Mural Program

We’re excited to see the City has selected 39 artists and 10 locations for the community mural project! Download this for the locations and artists all over town! This program is great because it is adding art all over the city and adding it to Wide Open Walls and all the other independent murals being created is really adding interest to town.

There will be opportunities for community members to help through the process and we hope you get involved!

Youth Art Expo/Contest

Calling Sacramento young people: The City wants to hear your stories and experiences with parks and recreation programs through photos, artwork, music, performances and videos. If you are 14-24 and want to contribute to our city (and win some $) submit your work by July 16.

As part of the City of Sacramento’s Parks Master Plan 2040, the Youth, Parks, and Community Enrichment (YPCE) Department is launching the “Youth Art Expo and Contest: Your Parks, Your Future!

Just click the image to sign up and start! The oldsters can’t wait to see what you can make!

Food Hubs are Coming!

Local food production in our gardens is one of the pillars we want to build our National Park City on, so it is great to see the EPA’s Local Foods, Local Places is supporting Sacramento community groups and the city in creating Food Hubs at the Alchemist Kitchen Incubator Hub, the former City Tree Nursery in Mangan Park, and the International Garden of Many Colors on Ninos Parkway!

More info here!

alchemist food hub.jpg

They still need to raise funding for buildout, but these great ideas deserve it and should be able to attract support! Incubators like this help educate and connect people to the food they are eating and provide community gathering places too.

Can’t wait for the Food Hubs to pop up?

Also, we are excited to see progress happening at Pansy Park which will have a new Alchemist community garden!

Want to bike and walk more? May is the Month

May is Bike Month and it presents an avalanche of opportunities to advocate for more walking and biking options! FIRST – you should register here for May is Bike Month… Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates will be hosting events – join the fun!

May is Bike Month - Sacramento Area Council of Governments

THEN… there are planners looking for your input. Speak up so you get better conditions!

This Thursday May 6 6:30-8pm is the City’s Transportation Priorities Plan. Register here or take the survey at least!

Sacramento County is launching their Active Transporation Plan and has both a public input map and upcoming workshops to guide the projects. Add to the Input Map here and register for the workshops that are coming up May 18 and 20.

Love trails and greenways? Finally, SACOG is developing a regional Parks and Trails Strategic Development Plan and wants you to take a survey on where you would like to connect. We need major additions to complete the Dry Creek, Laguna Creek, and greenways on Morrison and Florin Creeks to connect neighborhoods to the the great river destinations!

Scavenger Hunt!

With limited activites available still due to lockdowns, some neighbors gathered together and created a fun activity to explore their neighborhood! Stephanie with Soul Belly Stories assembled ideas from NextDoor and created a fun hunt that is a great way to get out and explore. I’ve lived in the neighborhood 11 years and there are new treasures listed in there that I have to find! Give it a try and share your thoughts with Stephanie too!

Why not create a scavenger hunt for your neighborhood too? Let us know if we can help and share it with us – we will be glad to post it here on our Things to Enjoy page!

Stepping forward

2020 was transformational for transportation and this Streetsblog had a fascinating take on how unimaginable it was, pointing out how many cities pivoted with Slow Streets and creative ways of distancing. Sacramento was unfortunately one of the “others” that is still planning how to do Slow Streets, but thanks to advocacy by WalkSacramento and SABA you can now apply for a Slow Active Street near you. A plus is the priority for park poor and Environmental Justice Areas.

The best way to be more proactive to make our streets better for people (and more parklike) is to get involved in the plan! Attend the Sacramento County Active Transportation Plan South Sac Pop Up this Wednesday Jan 14 and share your ideas for better walking and biking! Register in advance!

Bird Talk

Inside Publications had an inspiring article this month about Vicki Butler, who has led a hugely successful effort to make bluebirds a common sight around Sacramento. She has set up nest box “trails” that provided the protections the little bluebirds needed and is credited with their recovery. It’s an astonishing story of how much impact one person can have – read it here!

Why not help the cause and build a box to house some bluebirds – plans and info is available at North American Bluebird Society.

It’s not just for the birds – a new study says that greater bird diversity brings joy to people! In fact it brings as much enjoyment as money – “An additional 10% of bird species therefore increases the Europeans’ life satisfaction as much as a comparable increase in income.” That’s a great reason to increase habitat and wildness in Sacramento!

Sacramento Audobon Society is our local champion for birds and has numerous resources for building boxes and creating habitat for birds on their site. The Christmas Bird Count has been largely modified for COVID this year, but there is still an opportunity to be a citizen scientist and count birds on the weekend of Jan 2 and 3. Also, if you have a great idea for a project that would benefit birds in our community, they provide small grants on an ongoing basis! Maybe you can come up with an idea like Vicki Butler to make our city better for the birds and us!

Light Up the Night

As we head into the darkest part of the year (and another lockdown), we also celebrate light and the hope to come! Tonight starts Hannukah with the Festival of Lights and many streets have holiday lights strung along the trees for you to enjoy with an evening stroll. Parks Commissioner Devin Lavelle had a great idea a few years back to light the Pocket Canal and pathways with holiday lights and it looks fabulous! Lighted pathways are more inviting and safer for exploring at night and we think this idea could also be used in other communities. For urban pathways lighting can make an inviting space and dramatically increase use if done right – Rails-to-Trails has good guidance.

Speaking of safety, if you are cycling you want to make sure and have your lights, and if you need some hit up one of the SABA Lights On events starting next Thursday where they are distributing free lights.

It’s great to see neighbors coordinating to string lights all up and down the streets on trees, and even in areas lacking street trees (plant some!) there are creative ways to work together. Here is a pic of a simple street of arches made with inexpensive irrigation pipe and light strings that would brighten any evening walk!

Giving Tuesday

#GivingTuesday is a great opportunity to support projects making Sacramento a Park City! Take a few minutes today and help them reach their goals!

Natomas Garden and Arts Club’s effort to build a new garden!

Tree Foundation Evergreen Fund for the new Ray and Judy Tretheway Heritage Oak Preserve!

Alchemist CDC for creating more gardens and greenspaces!

Pocket Canal Holiday Lights for a bright and cheerful trail!

Sponsor a film that spotlights our special open spaces with Sac Valley Conservancy!

More on these projects to come!