2020 Tree Heroes

Great trees define Sacramento – the City of Trees. Our citizens have been planting and tending the urban forest for over a century and the Sacramento Tree Foundation honored great contributors to our forest this year by telling their stories in a series of videos. Join us in honoring them and hearing their stories!

C.K. McClatchy Award – Desiree Backman, PhD

Austin B. Carroll Award – Putah Creek Council

Growing Greenprint Award – Sacramento Arborist Jesus Munoz, Jr.

Legacy Award – T Street Walnut

Take it a step further and visit all the Legacy Award winners around the City by using our Google Map on your phone! (The trees are on there, but we need to add a lot of other elements – let us know if you want to help!)

We hope you are inspired – there are many opportunities to carry on the tradition with the Tree Foundation from planting shade trees in your yard or street, to organizing activities for your neighborhood or school and they can certainly help guide you.

Why turn our back on creeks?

Most people hardly notice the creeks in Sacramento. They’re mostly hidden in chanelized ditches behind suburban fences and feared for their potential to cause flooding. It makes me sad. Creeks have so much potential – what is better than creekside dining or a pleasant walks along the bank under the big trees that love the water enjoying all the birds and wildlife.

San Luis Obispo has a great downtown creek. Walkways and gardens line it and there are stepping stones to cross when the water is low enough. It’s in the historic downtown and draws gobs of tourists to restaurants with seating along the creek. It’s also been the source of major flooding.

SLO Creek plein aire from Vagabond3

Couldn’t we do this in Sacramento – at least in a few places that could be nodes and eventually create some whole creekside districts? Florin Creek or parts of Arcade Creek could be candidates and leverage flood control funding with restoration and development opportunities. Next time we see an opportunity to create a restoration project like this with economic benefits we need to jump on it – the potential is too great to miss!

Skinny Garden

Some spaces don’t seem like they are worth much attention. What good is a chain link fence along a schoolyard? Turns out that instead of spraying Round Up on it, it can become a vibrant attraction. This 2 block section of V Street is now the Skinny Garden and is worth a visit! Check out all they have done below and be inspired.

What if…. we had projects ready and ripe for when we come out of lockdown?

After being locked in for months we are looking to get out. To connect. Those of us whose income hasn’t changed haven’t spent and we are looking to invest. What if…. we had a list of projects that could put people and resources back to work quickly? Isn’t that what we want to do – policy makers are looking for shovel ready projects that show great results. Our Sacramento Park City project is brand new so didn’t have a backlog, but I image in a couple years we will. Here is one for now –

Alchemist CDC is working to build Pansy Garden Park in Oak Park and needs resources and funding to pull it off. You can buy a brick to support the project as just one act that will help create a new park in our city!

London National Park City posted a similar story and had a few examples of projects that were crowdfunded or gained support during the pandemic. If they can do it we certainly can! If you have ideas for projects we should consider adding to our list please let us know in the comments section or send them to us! We will be ready for the next one.

Biophilic Pattern Language Library

This post is a bit wonky and abstract but we need a little of that from time to time. Biophilic Cities created this Pattern Library with examples from around the world of treatments that we can learn from for Sacramento. Sponge City anyone? How about an urban water trail along the Sacramento River? Biophilia really connects more to the wildness and green aspects of Sacramento Park City – it’s the natural attraction between humans and the nature around us. In the city it creates a fantastic basis for improving health and well being in the built environment. I hope in the near future we can make some Sacramento contributions to the library! Have thoughts? Share them with us!

Stockton Blvd Facelift

Big bucks go into transportation projects, so we should make them count! Stockton Blvd is up and the City is looking for input from residents to help select the improvements they make. Take the Survey and be heard through the end of June! Looking at what would make the corridor more enjoyable for a stroll or bike connection, there are options in there that have space for trees so lets make sure this investment lines the boulevard with them.

The Sharing Spirit

I saw this post on NextDoor last week that warmed my heart. Both the act of giving the rock and the appreciation expressed are generous acts of neighborliness. Sacramento Park City is all about this spirit!

The other thing I love about this is the low barrier to entry for this spirit. I’m no artist, but I could paint a rock. Everyone can paint a rock. A simple idea that could grow. What if we had a neighborhood rock painting and exchange party. There would be a custom painted rock in everyone’s front yard. You would need to walk the neighborhood to see them all – can’t see them from your car. A scavenger hunt. Wouldn’t that add to your joy? When you’re looking for the rocks you are bound to notice some flowers and talk to some people. See how it grows? The key is starting it. It takes some courage to share your art with others. But see how much joy it can create? Take something and make your mark, then share it!

Mosaic pillars?

Travelling around my neighborhood I’ve noticed these mosaic pillars (that’s what I’m calling them for now) scattered around and they make me wonder – Who put them there? Is there a pattern? Do they mean something? Are they marking something?

I’ve discovered at least 5 of them but can’t figure out the pattern. In front of the taqueria, in the porkchop, in a vacant lot by the freeway. They are all different but colorful and eye catching. There must be a story here! Who can help me find it?

Many people don’t notice these things until you point them out. My wife hadn’t noticed until I described them to her. She told me excitedly today that she saw 3 of them on her way to the grocery store.

Do you have a similar themed element in your neighborhood? Would you share in the comments and we can learn about it and highlight it?