Comments on the City of Sacramento’s Draft Parks Plan 2040

The City of Sacramento, which manages 235 parks with 4,329 acres of parkland, has prepared a Draft Parks Plan (2040). The Parks Plan importantly supports recreational activities for Sacramento’s diverse communities. However, it falls short in one of its key goals to bring nature to all City residents. Currently, most City Parks provide only a facade of nature that consists primarily of exotic grasses and trees. However, the City can effectively bring biodiversity to its parks by planting native trees such as oaks in combination with native shrubs and herbaceous plants. Native plants support native birds, bees, butterflies and other wildlife.

On April 8, 2024, Habitat 2020, the Conservation Committee for the Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS), and ECOS submitted our comments on the City of Sacramento’s Draft Parks Plan 2040.

Click here to read the letter in full.

Attachment 1

Attachment 2

Attachment 3

Attachment 4

Campaign for Protecting Natural Areas in the City of Sacramento

January 2024

The Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) is urging the City to designate a network of natural areas across the eight Council Districts, and to establish a Natural Areas Program to administer the natural areas network. There are numerous examples of commendable natural area programs across cities of the Western United States, and the City of Sacramento could use them as models for establishing a Natural Areas Program tailored to the unique and vibrant natural features, cultures, and ethnicities of the City. Doing so would be consistent with the City’s 2035 General Plan and Climate Action & Adaptation Plan, the City Parks Plan 2040, the California Biodiversity Initiative, and the California 30×30 Initiative.

Click here to learn more (PDF).

Habitat: Natomas Development Issues

July 3, 2023 — Please join us for the ECOS Habitat 2020 Monthly Meeting on Monday, July 3, 2023 at 7:00pm, where 30 minutes will be spent discussing Natomas development issues, and what we can do about them.

Link to join: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6656164155
To phone in: 669-900-6833, Meeting ID: 665 616 4155

Agenda

  1. 7:00 Welcome, Introductions, 10 min (Burness)
  2. 7:10 Natomas Development Issues, 30 min (Lamare, Fargo and Whitney)
    a. Neighborhood meetings
    b. New development proposals
    c. South Airport project timeline
    d. City and LAFCo response to ECOS et al letter
    e. Meetings w/ City council and Co board members
    f. Grant application
  3. 7:40 City Parks Initiative, 10 min (Tura and Fargo)
  4. 7:50 Sacramento City General Plan Update Discussion—Should we engage? 20 min (Burness intro)
  5. 8:10 Coyote Creek Sola Voltaic Project, 15 min (Leary, Delfino, Kelly)
    a. Video footage of site
    b. Project timeline
    c. Funding support
    d. Meetings with Co board members
  6. 8:25 Kassis Project, 15 min (Berry, Weiland)
    a. Meetings with Cordova City management re code violations
    b. New application
  7. 8:40 Other Environmental Issues and Updates, 20 min
    a. Mather Preserve Management (Burness)
    b. Tunnel Project (Burness)
    c. Habitat Acquisition Initiative (Schweigert)
    d. 30×30 Effort (Burness)
    e. Aerojet Cleanup (Heple)
    f. Other
  8. 9:00 Adjourn

Homegrown Habitat Comments for Sacramento’s General Plan/Climate Change strategy

On November 11, 2019 the Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) and Habitat 2020 submitted a letter to the City of Sacramento to bring the Homegrown Habitat Program to their attention and to urge them to incorporate some of its native plant guidelines into the City’s General Plan and Climate Change strategy updates.

Below is our letter in full.

November 11, 2019
Scott Johnson, Senior Planner
Community Development Department
300 Richards Boulevard, Third floor
Sacramento, CA 95811
Email: srjohnson[at]cityofsacramento[dot]org
Subject: ECOS/Habitat 2020 Homegrown Habitat program comments for inclusion in the City of Sacramento’s General Plan and Climate Change strategy updates
Dear Mr. Johnson,
The Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working to achieve regional and community sustainability and a healthy environment for existing and future residents. ECOS member organizations include: 350 Sacramento, Breathe California Sacramento Region, Friends of Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, International Dark-Sky Association, Physicians for Social Responsibility Sacramento Chapter, Sacramento Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Sacramento Electric Vehicle Association, Environmental Democrats of Sacramento County, Sacramento Housing Alliance, Sacramento Natural Foods Coop, Sacramento Audubon Society, Sacramento Valley Chapter of the California Native Plant Society, Sacramento Vegetarian Society, Save Our Sandhill Cranes, Save the American River Association, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1000 and the Sierra Club Sacramento Group.
Members of Habitat 2020, a committee of ECOS, include: Friends of Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, Friends of Swainson’s Hawk, International Dark-Sky Association Sacramento Chapter, Sacramento Area Creeks Council, Sacramento Audubon Society, Sacramento Valley Chapter California Native Plant Society, Save Our Sandhill Cranes, Save the American River Association, Sierra Club Sacramento Group and Sacramento Heron and Egret Rescue.
The Sacramento Chapter of the California Native Plant Society (CNPS), in coordination with State CNPS, ECOS and Habitat 2020, has embarked upon an ambitious regional campaign, called Homegrown Habitat, to promote the preferential use of California Native Plants in home and civic landscaping. Local native plants provide habitat within the build environment that promote regional biodiversity and help create pathways for local insects, pollinators, birds and animals through our built environment. CNPS’s Homegrown Habitat team has prepared a list of appropriate annual and perennial plants, shrubs and trees (HH Plant List) for use in the City of Sacramento’s private and public landscapes. CNPS is currently building the capacity to ensure that these landscaping options are widely available locally.
City wide utilization of these plants will directly contribute to several of the City’s major long-term goals including climate change adaptation and regional biodiversity. Utilization of the local native plants found on the HH Plant List in public spaces, residential areas, and commercial/industrial landscapes within the City will lower water consumption, provide carbon sequestration benefits (even during extended periods of drought when many non-native plants, shrubs, and trees perish), and contribute to regional biodiversity by providing homes and year-round food for pollinators and beneficial insects, local and migratory birds, and animal populations. Nearly all the region’s beneficial insect populations are in decline and many of our bird and animal populations that depend on them are suffering the same fate. We urge the City of Sacramento to adopt the goal of the Homegrown Habitat program and the HH Plant List within the relevant parts of the City’s general plan and climate action plan, and in so doing, take the steps listed in the attached comment document to ensure the planting of these local native plants throughout the City.
Chris Lewis CNPS’s Homegrown Habitat program chair would be pleased to meet with you to more fully describe the program’s goals, objectives, and activities, and to discuss how the program can be implemented within the City. Chris will be following up within the week to set up a meeting with you to further explore implementation of the program within the City of Sacramento.
Sincerely,
Ralph Propper Sean Wirth
President, ECOS Co-Chair, Habitat 2020
Cc: Chris Lewis, Homegrown Habitat Program Chair

Click here to read the letter in PDF.
Attachment 1

Photo from calscape.org, of Western Redbud (Cercis occidentalis)
https://calscape.org/Cercis-occidentalis-(Western-Redbud)?srchcr=sc5dca249f9a5c2