National Park Cities are hot spots of biodiversity where native species as well as landscape and adapted species fill unique microhabitats all over the city. Sacramento’s temperate climate allows for a huge variety of plants, animals, insects, and more – just take a look at all the sightings on this map from Inaturalist.

It lists 3,699 species identified by over 5,000 observers in Sacramento County, and I bet there are many more. You can join in the effort to identify even more by downloading the app and using it in your explorations around town.

I was reminded of this great tool (which I mostly use for wildflower ID) reading how cities around the world are finding success in efforts to add wildness to their cities and expand biodiversity. We can learn from these various approaches and I recommend taking a look at The Nature of Cities story. I particularly like the contributor from Bogota who stated “successful actions are those engaging people with urban nature and promoting common goals among diverse public and private stakeholders, that is, actions generating equal and just benefits for all citizens, because of conserving urban biodiversity.” We have a heavy lift to make Sacramento wilder, but it is great to konw 5,000 people area already out there making observations and we can look forward to building capacity with bioblitzes and more participants. What do you say?

River District Rising

Exciting things are happening in the River District just north of downtown with the announcement of the Alchemist Public Market and 7 new murals going up with a Metamorphosis theme!

Eating is one of our favorite things to do, and Alchemist Public Market will add to the adventure with a Community Gathering Place, an engine of Inclusive Economic Development, and a model of Responsible, Sustainable Design. You’ll be able to taste creative food from entrepreneur that Alchemist CDC has helped incubate, enjoy a farmer’s market, and much more! The project ties directly to edible landscape and tree plantings at the new Mirasol Village that Alchemist and the Sacramento Tree Foundation are leading and should be a great resource for the new residents.

Murals continue to add interest around the city through Wide Open Walls and Community Murals, but the River District is getting a special Metamorphosis theme with seven murals along the North 12th Street corridor by June 2022.  The sites are along North 12th Street between Richards and C Street.  The first one is at Loaves and Fishes at 401 North 12th Street.  The second one is at 300 North 12th Street and is currently underway. The North 12th Street public art project also includes a large art sculpture that will be located at the corner of Richards Boulevard and North 12th Street. Final approval on the sculpture will go to City Council o­n Aug. 17.

The City of Sacramento’s Office of Arts and Culture is leading the project in partnership with Sacramento Housing Redevelopment Agency (SHRA), U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development’ (HUD) and local artists collective Trust Your Struggle. The project is part of the City’s “Creative Edge” plan to bring art and culture to all Sacramento neighborhoods and communities. Stay tuned as we see art spread through the city and explore it all with the SacParkCity map.

Buy a Brick – Build a Park

Construction is underway at Alchemist CDC‘s community built and owned Pansy Park! The arbor, which is one of the space’s anchors, has been installed and the landscapers are ready to dig into the project. Located at 3601 Pansy Ave, the park will include, among other amenities, fruit trees, garden plots, a small playground, and a gathering spot for the neighborhood. Community built spaces need lots of people to support them – you can help! Buy a Brick here and stay tuned for the opening in the near future.

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!