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Grant slated for Sutter’s Landing Park

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One of Sacramento’s largest recreation spots and the gateway to the American River Parkway will soon be transformed.

Sutter’s Landing Park — formerly known as the 28th Street Landfill — has been receiving improvements since the mid-90s, and was opened to the public in 1999. It will soon see more, as the city is slated to secure a $1.5 million grant to extend trails, restore riverbanks, and beautify its entrance.

"What was once the city’s forgotten landfill is quickly becoming Midtown’s gateway to the American River Parkway," Councilman Steve Cohn stated in a news release. "We were successful landing this grant because the community spoke with one voice on the need to restore the natural river habitat at this unique location."

The 163-acre park features a covered skateboard park, dog park, basketball and bocce ball courts. It’s about a mile northeast of downtown and less than 3 miles from the capitol, and serves as the portal to the American River Parkway.

The grant, to be awarded Wednesday by the California Natural Resources Agency, will be used for the following purposes:

– Extend the Two Rivers trail three-quarters of a mile from the park east of the Union Pacific mainline tracks next to the Business 80 highway, according to the release. Currently the city’s Two Rivers trail starts at Tiscornia Park and ends at State Route 160, totaling two miles.

– Construct a turnaround loop with interpretive panels and seating at the end of the Two Rivers trail . The city expects a future phase will connect the trail from the railroad tracks to CSU-Sacramento.

– Restore more than three acres on the banks of the American River with native plants.

– Make entry enhancements to define the site as a recreation destination "by making the entry to the river trail welcoming and by emphasizing the river connection."

Cohn, who represents District 3 and pushed for the grant application, said the city is trying to restore the natural beauty of the river and "truly bring the American River Parkway into Midtown and downtown."

The city Parks Department led the effort to apply for the grant, and was backed by much community support, Cohn said. The Friends of Sutter’s Landing, environmental supporters, neighborhood associations and citizens who wrote letters of support to the Secretary of Natural Resources, were pivotal in the city’s approval, Cohn said.

For an area that used to be the city dump, "we’ve come a long ways already," said Cohn, who has witnessed the area’s transformation. Back in the mid-90s, there was still junk scattered across the property all over, though it had been capped and trash was no longer being dumped, he said. The changes have been gradual, with facilities being added and restoration projects enacted. But this will "allow us to really restore the connection between the park and the river."

"For people that think it takes so long, they’re right," Cohn said. "It does take a long time, but in retrospect a lot has happened, especially in the last 10 years."

The city is hosting the agency’s award ceremony, during which Secretary for Natural Resources John Laird will announce the Sutter’s Landing grant, along with 32 other recipients throughout the state. Competition was intense among the 133 applicants vying for 33 awards totaling $34 million in Proposition 84 funds, according to the release.  


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