Fall is coming! Our favorite season with crisp air and colorful leaves that last all the way to the holidays! It’s a great opportunity to explore with a socially distanced Tree Tour to see some of the best specimens in town. Sacramento Tree Foundation has 11 Tours to choose from an you can download the guides to follow for a nice stroll through the colors.
If you aren’t familiar with the areas, you can find them on our Park City Map. Look for the tree icons and if you click the link in one of the Tree Tour icons it will download the guide for you.
You may want to start with Capitol Park, since some of those trees are threatened by an expansion of the Capitol Annex and may not be there long (hopefully the state will revise that project!)
Once you have seen the beauties, this is the best time of year to plant a new tree, so if you have some space sign up and get some Free Shade Trees from SMUD and the Sacramento Tree Foundation.
Related to the map above, I was able to get out and add a number of murals but still have a way to go – seems like everywhere you look there are more to add! I’ll send out a note when I’ve got most of them on there!
Parks are the gems in our Park City, so it’s important we continue to improve them and ensure they are meeting our needs and expanding to connect us to nature and recreational opportunities to keep us active. The City is launching a Master Plan Update and looking for your input through September. Please take a few minutes and add your thoughts on how the parks can better serve you and what opportunities we can take advantage of to grow and integrate these gems into our neighborhoods. Click here!
The best art festival of the year is here with WideOpenWalls already half over! New murals going up around town to add to the treasure hunt of visual delight in our city! With indoor activities curtailed this is a great time to go on a mural hunt – the website has an interactive map for you to follow and see some new outdoor art. The smoke has put a big damper on things, but if it gets in the healthy range this week get out and support some artists adding beauty with some encouragement!
How do you get people who aren’t very interested in the outdoors involved in the Park City movement? Maybe a bird feeder competition. One of the Park City folks on a recent call shared how he met with a bunch of gamers and IT professionals and they all decided to get bird feeders and are now learning about all their local birds (they’re in Louisville) and comparing notes back and forth. What he had doubts about really got these folks excited!
Closer to home, my wife went out and got a bird feeder this summer after she saw one at her friend’s house. I thought – “What do we need a feeder for? There plenty of diversity and food sources for them around here.” It took a few weeks for them to show up, but now we have some regular finches (which I haven’t seen before at my house) that clean out the feeder on a regular basis and add some wildness to our little yard. She was so excited about it so I got her a bird ID guide and now we are hoping some other varieties come for us to discover. Here’s a photo, but they are tough to catch posing.
So now her friend got a bird bath so you know what is next. If you have a bird feeder and have seen some fun visitors, put it in the comments – maybe it’ll be a competition (here’s looking at you Jewel).
If you are in South Sacramento there is a great new opportunity to improve your urban forest! The Sacramento Tree Foundation has $5,000 grants that can help you get started on a NeighborWoods project that can involve your neighbors, beautify the area, engage youth, and be a lot of fun! The application has ideas for projects and you should reach out to STF staff if you’re interested. Take that first step and share your idea here too!
It’s the largest gem in our park system by far, so when County Parks asks for input, we better respond (in spite of our last post!) They are working on a Natural Resource Management Plan that will guide new state bond investments through the Lower American River Conservancy. The Lower Parkway sure needs it and this is your chance to share how you use the area and make suggestions on what you would like to see (active uses to make it safer, more trees on the trails for shade, mountain bike trails, buy up the inholdings, focused restoration…. make your own additions!) They do have a cool map survey tool that made it pretty fun so take a few minutes and click on the map below to go to the survey!
One of the core values we want Sacramento Park City to build from is inclusion. The movement needs to transfer power to the areas of our city that have the greatest needs to feel like a park and to the people that live and work there. We are looking for people to lead the effort from these communities. As a brand new organization you can shape the actions and direction that we focus on – just contact us to get involved. We are especially interested in creating youth leadership roles!
Trust for Public Land also has a Parkscore system that compares cities and includes a map where there are park gaps showing where investment needs to happen. Check it out – you’ll see some correlation between SMUD’s map and the sites where parks are needed there.
Incidentally, looks like the Parkscore for Sacramento is dropping – Sactown reported we were tied for 3rd in 2013 and now we are at #30. It looks like the weakest part of the pie is acreage, which they rank at 46 out of 100. There are many innovative ways to expand park acreage with street parks, community gardens, flexible spaces, and other ideas. We’ll have to explore those more as we go!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.