West Sacramento is divided into three main sections. The South side, generally referred to as “Southport,” has only been built up in the last 15 years. The central section is older, many homes dating back 60 years, and has undergone a continuous string of urban development projects such as Raley Field, Town Center Plaza, and the Bridge District.
The North side of town is mostly comprised of older neighborhoods, and the residents who live there are starting to speak up about the improvements that they would like to see.
The first of these improvements was Westfield Park, which opened in 2013. This year, the City turned it’s attention to Sycamore Trail.
Sycamore Trail is a path that neighborhood kids used to take to school. Over the years, it deteriorated and became an attractive hang-out for transients and illegal activity. The parents of the Westfield neighborhood made it known to the City that they wanted it cleaned up and made suitable for school foot traffic again.
Two weeks ago, a rejuvenated Sycamore Trail was completed. Trees, benches and picnic tables line a walkway that is family friendly and clean. (article here)
And it doesn’t stop there. The City of West Sac sees this as “phase one” of a longer trail that will someday connect West Sacramento neighborhoods along the entire length of the city.
What I like most about this story is that the neighborhood residents identified the problem, they told the city what needed to be done, and then the city worked together with the residents to fix it.
A common problem in city improvement is that you’ll either have a government that decides what needs to be done without input or support from the community, or you’ll have residents who only take enough initiative to complain about nothing getting fixed. In this case, decisions were made at ground level, and the City responded with planning and financial support.
If you want to dig in with neighborhood improvement, there is a great opportunity right now. Disney, Kaboom and West Sacramento are working together on a new park. They are looking for resident volunteers to help build a park in the Bryte neighborhood by May 31 of this year. (article here)
For more information, call Bob Johnston, West Sacramento parks and recreation director, at (916) 617-4620.