Out & About

By Jessica Laskey
September 2022


Volunteer group removes trash from local waterway

Sacramento Picks It Up! recently sponsored three trash cleanup days along a 1-mile channel of Arcade Creek from Rio Linda Boulevard to Marysville Boulevard as part of the group’s “Keep Our Rivers Wild” campaign.

More than 75 volunteers removed a whopping 12,000 pounds (6 tons) of debris, which was then hauled away by the American River Flood Control District.

The cleanup events, co-hosted by the Arcade Creek Adopt-a-Creek Project with support from the flood control district, brought attention to the poor conditions of the waterways and promoted the need for action by government entities.

Sacramento Picks It Up! is a volunteer group formed in 2021 to address contamination of local waterways, such as the 16-mile Arcade Creek, which is the largest drainage basin of all local creeks.

The group’s 2,000 members create multiple weekly events in both urban and natural areas to protect the region’s habitats and resources. For information or to sign up for upcoming cleanup events, find the group on Facebook or email sacramentopicksitup@gmail.com.

An article in the August Out & About column erroneously identified the late Lloyd Harvego as founder of The Firehouse Restaurant in Old Sacramento. While Harvego purchased the restaurant in 1999, the founder was the late Newton Cope, who opened The Firehouse in 1960 and created the ambiance that continues today.


The moment has finally arrived—Food Literacy Center’s new headquarters and cooking school at Leataata Floyd Elementary is open.

The 4,500-square-foot facility features a cooking classroom, commercial kitchen, student gardens, offices and more to help the nonprofit advance its mission of developing food literacy in children across Sacramento.

“I can’t put into words how much it means to us that Sacramento City Unified School District saw the value in our food literacy education and decided to invest in the students by building this and allowing us to operate it,” says Amber Stott, founder and chief food genius at Food Literacy Center.

The $4.3 million project, which took seven years to complete, was funded by SCUSD and will serve approximately 330 elementary school students and their families, as well as students throughout the district and community.

“By teaching students how to grow, prepare and enjoy fresh, local and seasonal produce, we can begin to reduce childhood obesity and many of the health problems associated with it,” says SCUSD Superintendent Jorge Aguilar.
For information, visit foodliteracycenter.org.


The city of Sacramento will accept applications beginning Oct. 1 for its next round of City of Festivals grants to support special events.

To qualify for grant awards up to $7,500, events must be located in the city, be consistent with family-oriented themes, support arts and cultural entertainment and activities, promote a healthier living environment and enhance quality of life in the city.

Grant funds may be used to pay the costs of police services, parking and permits, private security, equipment, portable restrooms, event fencing and more.

Applications will be accepted Oct. 1–31 for events to be held Jan. 1 to April 30, 2023. For information, visit sacramentofestivals.com.


The city of Sacramento has relaunched a program that provides tax incentives for owners of vacant, unimproved or blighted property who repurpose the land for urban agricultural.

Under an Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone agreement, landowners agree to maintain their parcels for agricultural production for five years in exchange for reduced property taxes during that period. For information, email planning@cityofsacramento.org.


Make your charitable dollars go further by paying your registration fee for the 39th annual California International Marathon, coming up Dec. 4, through the Sacramento SPCA.

By purchasing marathon tickets through SSPCA (one of this year’s CIM partnering charitable organizations), proceeds go back to the shelter, helping thousands of animals each year. To purchase tickets, visit sspca.org/community-events.

Although the SSPCA’s highly anticipated fall gala “Whiskers in Wonderland,” Saturday, Oct. 22, is sold out, there is a waitlist if tickets become available. To be placed on the list, contact Kristi Maryman at kmaryman@sspca.org or (916) 504-2802. For information, visit sspca.org/fall-gala-silent-auction.


More than 250 pieces of art have been selected for this year’s PBS KVIE Art Auction, celebrating the work of Northern California artists and California Masters.

The juried artworks are featured in seven categories: contemporary, figurative, landscapes, sculpture, still life, photography and California Masters recognizing works selected by the curator.

The live auction will be televised and livestreamed Sept. 30 from 7–10 p.m., Oct. 1 from noon to 10 p.m. and Oct. 2 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. All proceeds benefit PBS KVIE. For information, visit kvie.org/artauction.


The next time you’re strolling down K Street Mall, look up and see Spirit Wings, a new series of sculptures that transform from birds to humans in flight.

The art pieces were installed along the corridor thanks to two local community leaders—Megan Blackwell and Phil Tretheway—and Sacramento’s young professionals program Metro EDGE.

Seven sculptures, inspired by Sacramento’s original wetlands and native people, are scattered along a 1-mile stretch from the Delta King in Old Sacramento to 13th and K streets. The Spirit Wings locations are not revealed—finding each piece, by artist Garr Ugalde, is part of the fun while exploring Downtown. For information, visit spiritwings916.com.


Dr. Dennis Godby, a 66-year-old naturopathic doctor in Sacramento, will walk solo across one-fifth of the country beginning Sept. 12 to promote health equity.

As the founder of Walk USA for Health Equity, Godby has been doing long runs and walks to bring attention to health and social justice issues for more than four decades. WUHE goals are to highlight America’s desperate health conditions in communities of color, promote healthy lifestyles, and provide education on getting and staying healthy.

The trek will begin in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Sept. 12 and end 610 miles later in Knoxville, Tennessee,
Oct. 11. Four more legs are planned to take Godby to Seattle, Washington, between 2023 and 2026.

Each day’s walk will take approximately eight hours and will average 22 miles. Along the route, Godby will partner with community organizations to host public health events. For information, visit walkusaforhealthequity.org.


Twelve film projects are being shot in town thanks to grants from the city’s Film + Media program funded by Measure U.
Nine Sacramento region filmmakers and six from outside the area received a total of $67,500 to tell diverse stories with equally diverse casts and crews. The projects include a short film, a television pilot and 10 documentaries/docuseries.

“Sacramento Film + Media’s grant was an essential part in me and my team being able to complete our documentary film project and debut it right in the heart of Sacramento at the Esquire IMAX,” says Melissa Muganzo Murphy, executive producer of “The Big Hysto: A Black Womb Revolution.”

The next round of film-incentive grant applications opens Oct. 15. For information, visit filmsac.com/grants.


Sacramento’s Historic Preservation team needs your help.

The city is seeking artifacts, photos, newspaper clippings and stories for the African American Experience Project to document the history of African Americans in Sacramento.

The project consists of research, community outreach, workshops and oral histories, including recorded conversations with elders. History students from Sacramento State, volunteers and the city’s historic consultant are working collaboratively to gather material. Documents and recordings will be housed at the Center for Sacramento History.

To be a part of this important project, visit cityofsacramento.org and search for African American Experience Project.


SAFE Credit Union is celebrating its third year of teaching financial readiness to Natomas middle and high schoolers through a partnership with Councilmember Angelique Ashby’s Youth Action Corps.

In a series of financial education courses held at North Natomas Library, students learn about budgeting, responsible spending, credit and how to pay for college. The program gives the kids a much-needed “head start,” says Emilio Barrera with SAFE Credit Union. “Most kids leaving high school do not have a true understanding of their finances.”

Youth Action Corps, established in 2010, provides opportunities to develop work skills and create pathways to employment and higher education. For information, visit angeliqueashby.com/youth-action-corps.


Four high school students from the greater Sacramento region have been selected for Bank of America’s Student Leaders, an eight-week paid summer internship with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Sacramento and Stockton.

The Student Leaders program provides opportunities for students to gain firsthand job experience while serving their communities.

The 2022 cohort includes Athena Estrada, a junior at Kit Carson International Academy, who volunteers at local COVID-19 vaccination clinics to provide in-language support and translations, and Joshua Salazar, a graduate of West Campus High School, who serves as a teacher’s assistant, elementary school tutor and church member.


While you’re enjoying shopping at DOCO on K Street, stick around for the Live at 5 Music Series.

The free concerts take place on the west plaza terrace near Macy’s on Thursday evenings through October from 5–7 p.m., and feature an eclectic range of sounds, including live acoustic acts and popular DJs. Check out this month’s lineup at docosacramento.com.

After Live at 5, wonder over for free open mic nights from 7 p.m. to midnight on Thursdays at The Russ Room above Solomon’s delicatessen at 730 K St.

Named for Tower Records founder Russ Solomon, The Russ Room is a live music venue, art gallery and community gathering place. For information, visit solomons.co/the-russ-room.


The next Sacramento Police Community Advancement Academy begins Sept. 8, providing insight on the mission, operations and work of the police department.

The academy includes Q&As with department leaders, a panel interview with Police Chief Kathy Lester, presentations on current crime trends and the Violent Crime Reduction Initiative, and a tour of the academy and training facility.

The academy is held every Thursday night for five weeks at the Public Safety Center at 5770 Freeport Blvd. To apply, visit cityofsacramento.org/police/resources/cops-and-clergy.


Two Water Forum projects are underway to enhance crucial habitat for native fall-run Chinook salmon and steelhead trout at Lower Sailor Bar in the American River and Nimbus Basin.

The projects will lay approximately 41,000 cubic yards of clean gravel into the flowing river where spawning salmon and steelhead create nests to deposit their eggs. Woody material and riparian trees and bushes will be planted on side channels to give young fish a place to hide from predators and rest in shade, and for insects to grow for feeding the fish and other species.

Work is expected to wrap up this month before the fish return from the Pacific Ocean to spawn. For information, visit waterforum.org/habitat2022.


Health and wellness activities continue weekdays through Sept. 30 at Fremont Park in Midtown.

Workouts, including yoga, Pilates, boot camp and Zumba, are open to all ages and fitness levels. No registration is necessary, but check out the class descriptions to determine if exercise materials, like a yoga mat, are needed. For class schedules, visit midtownparks.org.


New funding of $49.9 million will go toward improvements to the Sacramento Valley Station, the historic train station at Fourth and I streets.

Funding from the California State Transportation Agency’s Transit and Intercity Rail Capitol Program will also help construct a new regional bus layover and vehicle-charging facility, enhanced regional transit stops and state-of-the-art transit fare payment technology.

The funds were awarded to a regional partnership led by Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority and its project partners, the city of Sacramento, Sacramento Regional Transit, Downtown Railyard Ventures and Sacramento Area Council of Governments.

“We are excited that the state shares our vision of the Sacramento Valley Station, underscoring the importance of passenger rail as part of mobility in the Sacramento region,” says Don Saylor, CCJPA board chair and SACOG board member. “Their investment will not only establish the station as a transportation hub for the northern California mega-region, but will increase the safety and reliability of our rail and transit systems, ultimately improving the overall passenger experience.”

Jessica Laskey can be reached at jessrlaskey@gmail.com. Submissions are due six weeks prior to the publication month. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @insidesacramento.

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