$2.2M grant in the works for Del Rio Trail project
(Editor’s Note: The following is a brief statement from the South Land Park Neighborhood Association): “Great news for South Land Park and the City of Sacramento: the Sacramento Area Council of Governments is slated to approve a $2.2 million grant to launch the Del Rio Trail project!
This rail-to-trail conversion will provide a great neighborhood amenity on an abandoned rail spur running from Pocket Road to the Land Park area near the zoo. Biking and walking in our community will be greatly improved.
“SLPNA pushed very hard for this project, and worked in tandem with many facets of our community. Many neighborhood volunteers, public officials, school children, nonprofits, and city staff participated in getting this off the ground! Stay tuned for future details!”
The following piece was written last May by Greg Brown. It was featured in our sister paper, the Land Park News.
The Del Rio Trail in South Land Park sounds like something John Wayne would have rode a Stagecoach through in one of those old movie Westerns. “Alright, pilgrim. I’ll meet you on the Del Rio trail.”
The natural trail has primarily been used by locals as a 4-mile public walking trail. One spot along the trail is nicknamed the “Secret Glorious Place” by a local Waldorf pre-school teacher.
The sights and sounds of birds and bees are everywhere. California poppies and wildflowers blooming throughout the trail. There’s also a strong scent of springtime in Sacramento along the trail.
There’s a “No Trespassing” sign that everybody ignores and some janky gates that don’t keep anybody out. The trail is lined with backyard fences along the way.
The Del Rio Trail is owned by Regional Transit. They bought it back in the ’80s as surplus property thinking one day they’d run the Blue Line through there. These days they have no use for it.
It’s now up for sale. I saw the new For Sale sign staked on the corner of San Mateo and Riverside.
The State Parks and Recreation Commission was proposing an excursion train full of tourists chugging through the four mile stretch of the Del Rio Trail on its way to Pocket Road from Old Sacramento. There would be a stop in between at the Sacramento Zoo. Once the neighborhood learned about it they mobilized and expressed vocal opposition to the train traffic traveling through their quiet neighborhood.
State Parks backed down and agreed to remove the four-mile neighborhood section from its general plan and a revised plan was adopted last May. The State Parks and Recreation Commission approved the train stations at the Sacramento Zoo and at Pocket Road.
This raises a question as to how will the trains travel from Old Sacramento to Pocket Road without using the South Land Park tracks?
Could there be a round two battle brewing over the tourist trains?
Hopefully, not. Although, there are still concerns from local residents.
A group of neighbors have joined together with the leadership of the South Land Park Neighborhood Association and the City Of Sacramento. They call themselves the South Land Park Trail and Greenbelt Committee. The committee includes residents from South Land Park Hills, South Land Park Terrace, and local high school students. They are creating a neighborhood action plan for the four miles of abandoned tracks that run from Sutterville Road, behind Sprouts, and extends to Pocket Road near Freeport Boulevard. It would be a multi-use trail. Pedestrians, bicyclists and dog walkers would co-exist in harmony along the urban trail.
In the wider sections of the trail they’d like to create community gardens where a school group or neighborhood could plant organic gardens. Some parts of the Del Rio Trail can get gritty. Wider sections towards the South are brownfields with some trash from Freeport and illegal camping. The goal is to improve and protect the neighborhood.
Give the trail some TLC.
I met with Brian Ebbet and Sharon Louie on the Del Rio Trail one sunny afternoon to learn more about the rail to trail idea. Brian and Sharon are both members of the South Land Park Trail and Greenbelt Committee, also known as the “rail to trail” team.
“The rail to trail proposal is more than just a local amenity, it’s also to prevent the trains from coming through our neighborhood,” Brian told me. They want to be pre-emptive and pro-active.
“There’s a pot of money out there for bike trails,” Brian said.
The project is being considered for future grant funds that have a goal of improving bicycle and pedestrian mobility. The next step for the Rail to Trail team is to reach out to the community and engage with residents.
If you want to be a part of the rail to trail team or have comments or suggestions, contact Committee Chairperson Sharon Louie at SharonL6251@gmail.com