South Natomas park renamed to honor community advocates

An oak grove in South Natomas now has a new namesake in honor of the couple who worked to preserve it.

City leaders held a ribbon cutting ceremony Nov. 19 to celebrate the renaming of Natomas Oaks Park to Ray and Judy Tretheway Oak Preserve.

“These trees and this oak preserve now dedicated to Ray and Judy Tretheway will stand as a lasting symbol that the power of a small group of people can change the world for the better,” said Councilmember Steve Hansen.

Ray and Judy Tretheway Oak Preserve is an existing 12.8-acre park in District 4 (2230 River Plaza Drive) with picnic areas, a lawn area and a natural preserve.

The Tretheways have been advocates for both the South Natomas neighborhood and local parks for decades. Ray Tretheway served as a Sacramento City Councilmember from 2001 to 2010 and was a founding member of the Sacramento Tree Foundation. The couple founded the South Natomas Community Association and spearheaded the Natomas News and Natomas Journal.

Ray Tretheway and his neighborhood colleagues lobbied the City of Sacramento to establish the area that is now Natomas Oaks Park as a nature preserve, officials said.


“When we all think about the city of trees, when we think about the importance of trees to the beauty and splendor of our community but also to the health of our environment and climate, that thought in Sacramento is automatically associated with Ray and Judy Tretheway,” said Mayor Darrell Steinberg at the event. “That’s a legacy.”

In the future, the couple said they hope the park is viewed as a “living museum.”

“It is so unique to the city of Sacramento, and it is inspiring and majestic,” Ray Tretheway said.

“[The oak preserve is] a sanctuary, a place of quiet contemplation where people can come and be nourished by the really strong presence of the trees,” said Judy Tretheway.