Sacramento ranks among best cities for urban gardening

When it comes to urban gardening, Sacramento is as good as it gets among California cities.

According to a new study by financial literacy and consumer advocacy website NerdWallet, Sacramento ranks No. 5 in the United States for “Best Cities for Urban Gardening.” Released this week, the study rated Washington, D.C., on top followed by Las Vegas, Phoenix and Seattle.

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“Urban gardening has really taken off,” noted NerdWallet analyst Divya Raghavan, who conducted the study. “Cities are cultivating green space to balance harsher urban areas. Some cities are really putting a high value on gardens and green space.”

The study lauded the efforts of the City of Sacramento’s Department of Parks and Recreation for its community garden program as well as the grass-roots efforts of the Sacramento Area Community Garden Coalition. Soil Born Farms’ community efforts also were noted.

Sacramento offers 5.7 community garden plots per 10,000 residents, one of the measurements used in the study’s rankings. Other factors were capital spending on parks and recreation per resident and average number of sunny days per year (called the “sunshine percentage”). Although Sacramento only spends about $20 per resident on parks and rec, the area enjoys 78 percent sunny days.

By contrast, Washington D.C. spends $179 per resident on parks and rec, the most by any of the cities surveyed, and offers 27 garden plots per 10,000 people. Madison, Wisc., which didn’t make the overall Top 10, leads with 33 plots per 10,000 residents.

“I was really surprised by the high number of community gardens in Washington, D.C.,” Raghavan said. “And it’s such a tourist city; it’s important to them to look pretty for visitors.”

Like Sacramento, Las Vegas also got a boost from good weather, Raghavan said. “Las Vegas spends a lot on parks and rec, $112 per resident. Also, it’s sunny — it helps things grow.”

Source: Sacramento Bee

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