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.
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!
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!
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!
Last Thursday was a special day honoring the legacy of Tree Heroes Ray and Judy Tretheway by renaming the Natomas Oaks Preserve in their honor! Ray has dedicated himself to a greener Sacramento leading the Sacramento Tree Foundation for decades to keep our “World’s Largest Hand Planted Urban Forest” on top! Join us in congratulating Ray and Judy and learn all about their plans for the Ray and Judy Tretheway Oak Preserve, and support their efforts!
River parkways are one of the best things to discover in Sacramento where you can explore nature and go for miles and miles. The River to River trail is the greenest connection to those rivers as it passes through parks and tree lined streets!
Follow the purple line on your phone by pulling up the SacParkCity Map or download the pdf with the buttons below. We recommend the SacParkCity Map so you can discover the art, gardens, and tree features along the way.
We selected this route (along with some snack spots) to help you explore this connection and your city. If you have ideas for additional instant urban trails we would love to help you develop them – we think there is potential along Arcade Creek, Morrison and Florin Creeks, and many other areas of Sacramento.
There are encouraging signs that we will be able to get out and start working on greening and beautifying our town again, with appropriate COVID protocols now in place. The Tree Foundation has started some neighborhood plantings for residents to participate in, and there are volunteer work days starting in South Sacramento and Pocket at Reith Park November 7 and Charter Pointe Park November 28. You’ll need to RSVP in advance! We are looking forward to having a full calendar of these opportunities again.
The City of Sacramento has a few more ways to give input to the Master Plan – draw your favorite park and add a photo of your favorite. There are Prizes! It’s quick and easy so if you haven’t participated yet get your entry in!
Alchemist CDC is launching a Neighborhood Empowerment program! If you have an idea that could make Sacramento better, get it out there! Once the idea is out we can see what resources and partnerships can be wrangled to it to make it happen. Have you been eyeing a space that could use some cleaning and greening or a place to grow some fresh veggies? Have an idea for an art project? or some outdoor seating? This is a great opportunity to ask “What If….?”
Wide Open Walls is wrapping up and it is a great season to get out and explore all the street art in Sacramento! We’ve got the murals mapped out now on our map below that you can use on your phone to find the attractions near you. If we missed any let us know!
Our map also includes a set of murals on Franklin Blvd that celebrate the cultural heritage of the district and have a great suggestion – mural/taco tours! Who doesn’t love that? The businesses down there need you so get out and take a look at what the Business District has done.