City Express

City to bring on experts to help plan park pond revitalize


Health and beauty doesn’t always come naturally to park ponds, adored by park visitors for the wildlife attractions. An abundance of fish, turtles, birds, ducks and geese can stress the pond’s health over time, threatening the wildlife it attracts and eroding its most attractive features. There are seven park ponds among the City’s 220 parks.

The City Parks and Recreation Department says it’s time to renovate four park ponds next year, three in Land Park and one in McKinley Park. But how best to go about it when no one on the staff is a wildlife expert?

The City is going about the planning for cleaning up the park ponds two ways ­– one: recruiting a volunteer wildlife biologist for a newly established Pond Advisory Committee and two: requiring that expertise to part of the consultant team chosen for the project. “We’re only going to hire a firm with expertise in pond renovation as well as requiring them to have a wildlife biologist on the team,” explained park planner Gary Hyden.

The cost for the renovation projects are about $400, 000 for Land Park and $225,000 for McKinley. Whatever team is chosen will design a project based on priorities and will also provide the City with a maintenance program for Council consideration.

During the contractor selection process, Pond Advisory Committee members will sit on an interview panel and pick the best contractor. In addition to the wildlife biologist, Pond Advisory Committee members include a landscape architect, the park maintenance supervisor and staff and two members from Council districts four and three. After the selection is made, the committee members will continue to participate by overseeing the project’s progress.

The Request for Proposals will be issued in late September.  Proposals will be evaluated based on their knowledge, experience and approach to pond renovation so as to go about the job with the highest degree of consideration for the pond dwellers ­– the fish and wildlife.   Work on the ponds is  expected to start in 2015, however, exact timing will depend upon recommendations from the experts based upon the wildlife.

City receives awards for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and saving energy


The City of Sacramento was recently recognized by the Institute for Local Government and the California League of Cities at their annual conference with a Beacon Spotlight Award for leadership in promoting sustainable practices that address climate change. The City received several awards recognizing our achievements in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and saving energy. Those awards include:

  • Silver Spotlight Award for 6% in Energy Savings
  • Silver Spotlight Award for 5% Community Greenhouse Gas Reduction
  • Platinum Spotlight Award for Sustainability Best Practice Activities

City staff continues to work towards completing the necessary six elements to achieve a full Beacon Award and, more importantly, creating a healthier and more vibrant community!



Tractor parade to roll down Capitol Mall

The Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau will usher in the 2014 Farm-to-Fork Celebration on Sept. 12 with the roar of many tractors chugging through downtown Sacramento. This parade of farm equipment will pay homage to the machines that bring the farm to the fork, and visitors should expect to see some familiar faces behind the tractor wheels.


11:30 a.m. Tractor Parade starts down Capitol Mall

  • Parade will be led by the University of California, Davis marching band
  • The parade will head east on Capitol Mall
  • The parade will make a u-turn at 9th Street head west down Capitol Mall back over the Tower Bridge and into the parking lot
  • The parade will conclude around 12:30 p.m.


This article originally published on the Farm-to-Fork website.

Reminder to motorists: give cyclists 3 feet of room

A bicyclist pedals by

Effective September 16, motorists are required by law, to give at least three feet of space between their vehicles and any bicyclist in the road. According to a press release from the California DMV,  “…When three feet is not possible, the motor vehicle must slow to a reasonable and prudent speed and only pass when no danger is present to the bicyclist. Failing to do so can incur a fine, regardless of a collision or not. This law will take effect September 16, 2014.

With Sacramento having so many bicyclists on the road, either commuting or enjoying or bike lanes, please remember the three feet rule. Make sure to read up on all of the language that’s included in the new law by checking out the CA DMV’s Press Release. You can also follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

The 2035 General Plan Update


In 2009 the city of Sacramento completed the 2030 General Plan, a major overhaul of the old 1988 General Plan. While the 2030 General Plan has served the City well since its 2009 adoption, a five-year update is necessary to reflect changed conditions and priorities, streamline development review and implementation, and address new state laws. Key changes include:
Climate Action Plan (CAP)
The 2035 General Plan will incorporate and integrate the CAP, which will ensure that greenhouse gas reduction measures for public and private development are implemented and monitored. The CAP will be updated and kept current as future updates to the 2035 General Plan are made.
Flood Protection
The 2035 General Plan, in compliance with state law, will be amended to include policies and maps to address flood risks and higher standards for flood protection. Policies proposed include levee requirements, new development evaluations, and flood management planning efforts, all resulting in a minimum flood protection standard of a 200-year event.
Parks Acreage Service Level
The 2035 General Plan proposes modification to the Park Acreage Service Level Goal from 5 acres per thousand residents to 3.5 acres outside the Central City and 1.75 per thousand residents within the Central City. The proposed changes will make infill development easier to achieve while retaining (and reflecting) the actual level of service currently provided.
Traffic Level of Service
The current traffic LOS standard typically requires mitigation that results in increases in road size inconsistent with urban land uses. In infill areas, wider roads may not be appropriate or desirable. Wider roads increase capital costs and costs of operations and maintenance (O&M).
Urban Agriculture
The 2035 General Plan includes new goals and policies to promote urban agriculture, in order to support the production and sale of locally grown foods, as well as improve public health and well-being, increase public awareness, and community-building, particularly in areas that have vacant or underutilized land.

Visit to learn more about the General Plan Update and find meetings dates and times for public workshops.

Award to Parks & Rec for providing sports to those with disabilities


The City’s Access Leisure Program Supervisor Annie Desalernos and her team get a picture snapped with former Indy driver Sam Schmidt, who presented the Spirit of Ability award to Access Leisure at the Sonoma Raceway.

A City Parks and Rec program providing recreation for those with disabilities is celebrating being presented with a prestigious award for its stellar work improving lives. Access Leisure, operating in the city for 48 years, has received the Ralph W. Braun Spirit of Ability Award and a $1,000 check.

The program team was recently honored at Sonoma Raceway. The Spirit of Ability award was created by mobility company BraunAbility to honor organizations like Access Leisure which make a notable difference in the lives of people with physical disabilities.

The City’s Access Leisure program offers some 500 sports and rec options to all community members with disabilities or serious injuries, ill and wounded veterans, and active duty members of the military.


“The ability to positively impact not just the individual that attends their events, but that person’s family, friends, and the community at large, is what inspires each member of the Access Leisure staff to ‘leave it all on the playing field’ when they suit up for work,” said Desalernos.

Sam Schmidt, a quadriplegic and IndyCar team owner (former driver), presented Access Leisure with the award.

The award is named in honor of the late Ralph Braun, who had muscular dystrophy but did not let that prevent him from inventing the first motorized scooter, wheelchair lift, and founding BraunAbility, today a worldwide leader of mobility equipment.

Art in Sacramento goes virtual

Broadway Augmented Logo sheet-03

15 Virtual Public Artworks Unveiled on Major Sacramento Corridor

Eleven renowned artists from Sacramento, Canada, Spain, and around the country have created artworks that have been virtually installed along the Broadway corridor in Sacramento, California. The artworks were designed specifically for sites along the street and in the city’s historic cemetery. They were then translated into computer-generated models, which can be viewed in the real-world environment using an Android or Apple smart phone or a tablet.


The virtual public artworks, located throughout one of Sacramento’s most eclectic transitional neighborhoods, will be unveiled at a reception Sept. 13 and run through Oct. 31. The reception will be held 4-6 p.m. at the project’s headquarters in the offices of Sacramento Republic F.C.,

Viewers who download an Augmented Reality (AR) application (app) on their mobile device can follow a map within the app that indicates where the virtual artworks are located. Aiming the device’s camera at a particular location allows viewers to see it.

“Even though there is no actual piece to be seen with the naked eye, 3D models, images, animations and videos are linked to the physical site through image recognition – the artwork appears in the environment on the device’s screen as if it’s in front of you,” says Sac State New Media Professor Rachel Clarke, project co-curator, technical director and artist.

The free app will be available at the project website, and the project’s headquarters on Sept. 13.

There are fifteen projects by eleven artists: Michael Rees, Benjamin Hunt, Gioia Fonda, Rebecca Krinke, Sabrina Ratté, Chris Manzione, Rachel Clarke, Jose Carlos Casado, Joseph DeLappe, Malcom Cochran, and Mark Emerson. Several of the artists work in traditional media, while others are new media artists, some with an expertise in AR.

The project is funded in part by an Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts with generous in-kind support from the Urban Land Institute, Center for Sacramento History, Sacramento Republic FC, and Verge Center for the Arts.

How do you feel about urban ag in the City?

An example of an urban farm in West Sacramento

An example of an urban farm in West Sacramento

The City of Sacramento is conducting outreach that will inform amendments to the Sacramento City Code to allow urban agriculture on vacant lots in residential, commercial, industrial and manufacturing zones throughout the city.

The purpose of the ordinance is to:

  • Increase economic opportunities through the cultivation and sale of locally grown foods.
  • Reclaim vacant land by making it a community asset.
  • Improve public health and well-being by improving access to a diet rich in vegetables and fruits.
  • Promote public awareness and appreciation for locally grown food

City planners want to hear your thoughts and ideas on how urban agriculture should be integrated into urban and suburban neighborhoods. Give your input via the survey.

What’s currently allowed?

Currently, the Sacramento City Code allows vegetable gardens in private residential yards and up to 3 hens per residential parcel. The City Code also allows community gardens on public and private land, and vegetables, herbs, or fruit trees as a secondary use.

What changes are proposed?

The City Code does not allow urban farming as a primary land use. This regulatory barrier discourages the use of vacant parcels by urban farmers for growing crops. The proposed ordinance would allow:

  • Cultivation of crops as a primary land use on vacant parcels in residential, commercial, industrial and manufacturing zones throughout the city.
  • On-site urban agricultural stands for the sale of crops grown on-site
  • Built structures to support urban agriculture such as storage sheds, greenhouses and hoop-houses.
  • (Phase 2): Designation of the City of Sacramento as an Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone (UAIZ).   This would allow property owners to voluntarily enter into a contract with the City to reduce property taxes for on-site urban agriculture.

How can I be part of this process?

  • Attend the Planning and Design Commission meeting on September 11. Meeting will take place at 5:30 p.m. at new City Hall, 915 I Street.
  • Contact staff for questions or ideas. Contact Associate Planner Helen Selph at or 916.808.7852.
  • Visit the Urban Ag website to obtain up-to-date information and take the survey above.

September events from the Crocker Art Musuem


Looking for something to do in September? Crocker Art Museum has got you covered! Check out the long list of great events to attend and head on over.

Courtyard Classic Film Series: “Grease” Thursday, September 4


Icons in Conversation: The Black Lens Saturday, September 6

Art Mix | Crocker Con Thursday, September 11

Classical Concert: Trio MoD: Kuper, Pittman and Tau Sunday, September 14


Jazz in the Courtyard Presents Garrett Perkins Thursday, September 18


Capital Public Radio’ Sound Advice Thursday, September 25


2nd Annual GearUp Cycle for Youth


On September 20th, Sacramento City Vice‐Mayor Jay Schenirer and West Sacramento Mayor Chris Cabaldon will be kicking‐off the 2nd Annual GearUp Cycle for Youth. Registration for a 40 mile ride or a newly‐added metric century (65‐mile) ride option are now available, and interested participants are encouraged to register at:

The charity ride will begin at the West Sacramento City Hall at 7:00 AM on the morning of the 20th. and will conclude at Cesar Chavez Plaza in Downtown Sacramento at approximately 1:00 PM. Riders will enjoy a scenic course down into the Delta passing by notable regional landmarks such as Dave’s Pumpkin Patch and the Old Sugar Mill, ending with a lunch‐time celebration with gourmet food trucks, a local‐area band and a beer garden in Cesar Chavez Plaza.

“Last year’s inaugural GearUp ride was a resounding success; we’re excited to add a metric century option to the ride,” said Vice Mayor Schenirer. “We’re hoping that even more cycling enthusiasts in West Sacramento and Sacramento will come out and join the fun while supporting a great cause.”


GearUp was conceived by Mayor Cabaldon and Vice‐Mayor Schenirer as a way to support youth programs that target the underserved children in the cities of Sacramento and West Sacramento. All proceeds from the GearUp Cycle for Youth will benefit WayUp Sacramento, a wraparound youth support network and FutureReady: The Mayor’s Trust for Youth charity.

Who: GearUp Cycle for Youth

What: The 2nd Annual GearUp for Youth Ride

When: September 20, 2014, ride begins at 7:00 AM

Where: West Sacramento City Hall, 1110 W Capitol Ave, West Sacramento, CA 95691


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