Engagement & the Sycamore Trail

Jude Hudson tells the story of a community in West Sacramento that sparked a collaborative effort to enhance safety and quality of playgrounds and trails in their neighborhood.

About five years ago, parents and families living in a low-income neighborhood     in the City of West Sacramento were frustrated, fearful and angry. Walking their children to the Westfield Village Elementary School had become an increasingly      dangerous experience along a rough trail where crime occurred daily, and     vagrants harassed pedestrians and solicited mothers. In addition, neighborhood    children lacked a safe place to play. A group of Latino parents approached staff         at the Yolo County Children’s Alliance, a community-based nonprofit organization, and asked for help in finding a solution . . .

“The work that the Yolo County Children’s Alliance did with the Kaiser Permanente grant focused attention on the neighborhood,” says West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon. “The Sycamore Trail project improved the environment for health and safety. In part, this is because the neighborhood residents were so involved. There is a sense of ownership that would not have happened if the city had just gotten a grant and done the project on its own. Folks use the trail and protect it against vandalism and graffiti — they treasure it.” . . .

Check out this inspiring example of residents stepping up to improve the quality of life in their community at Western City here.

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