Tahoe Park Clean-Up Day, 2011

Over the past few years, the City of Sacramento has had to cut the budgets of nearly every one of its departments to deal with the fiscal woes associated with the ongoing global economic contraction. The parks department is hardly immune to these cuts, as their staffing levels have shrunk considerably due to layoffs and retirements. But the citizens of Sacramento don’t want to see their parks fall into disrepair, and several groups have formed just to ensure that they continue to be clean and safe places for families to get together and enjoy nature’s bounty.

The Land Park Volunteer Corps is coming back this weekend, March 3rd, to tackle the huge task of keeping the city’s largest park looking its best. In the fair-weather seasons, the group meets on the first Saturday of every month. Volunteers coordinate at their regular “Base Camp” located in picnic area directly behind Fairytale Town at 9:00 a.m. Espresso Metro keeps the worker bees happy by sponsoring a light breakfast, and after the mornings work is complete the crew sits down for a tasty lunch. For more information about the Land Park Volunteer Corps meet-ups or to donate to the cause, send an email to ckpinsacto@aol.com.

Not to be outdone on the other side of town, The Tahoe Park Neighborhood Association is also hosting a park clean-up day on Saturday, March 10th beginning at 8:30 a.m.  Last year, the group held four successful clean-up events, with over 150 participants coming in from all across the region to lend a hand at the modest-sized but often-used city park. All tools are provided on-site, along with juice, snacks, and coffee. Each Tahoe Park Volunteer also receives a raffle ticket for a chance to win one of several prizes that are awarded at the conclusion of the morning activities. You can stay informed about all future Tahoe Park volunteer events by emailing Isaactpna@gmail.com or by visiting www.tahoe-park.org.

One day, hopefully soon, leaders in Sacramento will formulate a plan to get the budget back into the black for good, and restore the services that the people of this city need to experience a happy and prosperous life within their respective communities. Until that day, these groups and others like them will continue to work hard to ensure that the real gems of our neighborhoods, their local parks, don’t suffer from a lack of attention and care. But they can’t do it without the support of citizen volunteers. Consider investing a little time on a Saturday morning to make your home a better place. You’ll thank yourself later for it, trust me.