To visit the City of Sacramento’s old Tree & Plant Nursery is to take a step back in time.
Situated behind an unassuming chain link fence not far from Executive Airport, the 5-acres of urban farmland exists in a state of suspended animation.
Sun-bleached weeds and wildflowers pepper the flat, expansive fields. A long-ignored greenhouse stands sentry on the edge of the property, near two low-slung ’60s-era buildings, whose main tenants seem to be spiders.
The site, where the City grew trees and other plants for municipal landscaping for decades, hasn’t been in active use since 2008. But new life could sprout from this abandoned farm in the near future.
The City’s Public Works Department has joined forces with Councilmember Jay Schenirer, who represents the area, to put out a “request for information” from people who may be interested in leasing the site as part of a public-private partnership.
Schenirer said he would like to see it become “a hub for urban agriculture” that supports community, commercial and workforce development, similar to the Center of Land-Based Learning in Winters.
“We see a lot of potential uses for this property,” Schenirer said.
Possible uses include “a community garden, a farm stand for the neighborhood, growing crops here, teaching urban farming and bringing young people in from our schools, so that they can learn about urban agriculture, why it’s important and how to get involved in the field,” he said.
Deadline for for submitting a proposal through the RFI process is July 12. The farm’s address is 1920 34th Ave. in the Mangan Park neighborhood.
Depending on the idea, Schenirer said he might be able to assist with fundraising or securing City money to help develop the site. He added that he could envision multiple parties or organizations inhabiting the site simultaneously for a mix of uses.
City officials have said they are open to using the site for uses other than — or in addition to — farming.
For more information about the farm or the RFI process, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 916-808-7005.