To say that Leland “Lee” Ruth has a green thumb would be an immense understatement.
The River Park resident not only boasts an impressive agricultural background, he’s also one of the key players involved in the maintenance of Sacramento’s iconic tree canopy.
“Trees are being taken out faster than they’re being put in, especially in River Park,” says Ruth, who’s lived in the neighborhood for 40 years (his wife grew up four blocks from their current home). “If we want to continue to have a tree canopy—which beautifies the neighborhood and improves air quality—we have to get involved in planting new ones.”
If Joan Cochrane could travel back in time, she would want to meet her grandparents and see where they grew up—without them knowing it was her.
Because time travel has yet to be achieved (as far as we know), Cochrane gladly settles for traveling back to the early days of California as a costumed volunteer at Sutter’s Fort.
“I love Sutter’s Fort because it’s not a static museum,” says Cochrane, who works at the fort two days a week and most weekends. “It shows students what it was like to live and work during that time period from the perspective of early settlers—ordinary people of their time who were part of the foundation of California.”
At a recent Women United luncheon, Carolyn Mullins was approached by one of the young men participating in the event. The annual luncheon is a celebration of the United Way women’s group that supports local foster youth. The young man asked Mullins if she would attend his high school graduation—excited to share this momentous occasion with someone who had helped him get there. Mullins enthusiastically agreed and attended the graduation later that spring.
Lucy Beckett has always been “a summer camp kid,” as she puts it. So it’s no surprise that when it came time for the longtime Girl Scout to apply for the prestigious Gold Award, Beckett was inspired by her love of summer camp.
The gold award is the highest honor a Girl Scout can receive for planning and implementing a “take action” project that provides a sustainable, lasting benefit to the girl’s larger community.
Alice Levine’s favorite projects are those that “get built and have a long public purpose.”
A city planner by training, the Poverty Ridge resident has put her schooling to good use during her 32 years in Sacramento by helping to save the Ella K. McClatchy Library when it was on the brink of closing—including refurbishing the upstairs to host art shows and other community gatherings—and to reopen the Southside Park public pool.
“Anything can be healed by music,” says Bill McAleavey, the Sacramento coordinator of Frets & Vets Six Strings Stronger, a guitar instruction program for veterans offered for free through the local VA. “It gives people a sense of purpose once they see what they can do.”
A veteran of the Navy himself, McAleavey is also an accomplished guitar player—he used to play in a rock ‘n’ roll band that performed at weddings and parties, although he admits they “never made any money at it.”