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Connecting the Dots: Sacramento County NeighborWoods Initiative

December 8, 2017

“Dream Big. Start small and then connect the dots.” - Dan Millman

 

On Saturday, November 18th, 35 motivated volunteers came out to Fulton-El Camino's Cottage Park to plant 16 beautiful shade trees. The newly-planted trees replaced drought-weakened and storm-damaged trees that were removed over the last few years. That’s the simple reason for the Saturday tree planting, but there was much more to this event.

The Cottage Park planting served as the kickoff event for the Sacramento County NeighborWoods Initiative. The Initiative, made up of a partnership between PG&E, Sacramento County, and the Sacramento Tree Foundation, seeks to increase and evenly distribute tree canopy throughout the county by deeply engaging and connecting with neighborhoods to provide education, tools, and funding so the community can create tree programs that better their lives.

With this vision in mind, Cottage Park stood out. Cottage Park is a hidden gem in the Arden-Arcade community. Hidden to outsiders, but not to residents of the area who come to enjoy the wonderful balance between natural features such as trees, shrubs, grass, and a meandering creek by the name of Strong Rancho Slough and built features like the community pool, playgrounds, pre-school, and the charming pair of rustic bridges. These great features serve an astounding number of neighbors, reaching further out into the community than your typical park.

Plugging into the magnetism of this park allowed us to connect the dots between resident leaders, neighborhood associations, community organizations, park board, neighborhood organizations, and business networks. Those connected dots yielded a wonderfully fun and rewarding project that will give back to the community for many years. What's even more exciting is that the event gave community members the chance to share new tree project ideas that will allow the benefits of trees to reach more and more neighbors in Arden-Arcade.

Over the next two years we will bring NeighborWoods to Foothill Farms, La Riviera, North Highlands, Rio Linda, Rosemont, and South Sacramento. We strongly believe these communities share similar dots to the ones we found in Arden-Arcade and we will soon help connect them as we did at College Park. Look out for us at community meetings and events in your area and if you have any ideas please share your vision with the Sacramento Tree Foundation.