Neighborhood Empowerment

Alchemist CDC is committed to working with local neighbors to support grassroots efforts to solve community problems and pursue visions of the common good.

We believe that communities have within themselves the vision, passions, and ability to do good and great things. We also recognize that many great ideas can be held back by the need for formal organizational structure. We see our role in the community as providing the structure and support of a trellis on which the vines of grassroots collaboration can grow, flourish, and bear fruit.

In this capacity, Alchemist is best known for our Land-Based Work. Through these projects, we help transform blighted land into vibrant, neighborhood amenities through direct community engagement, design, and hands-on participation in creating public gardens and community gathering spaces.

We also strive to be nimble in helping the community to respond to urgent needs and immediate opportunities with one-off projects like pop-up cooling stations in the midst of a heat wave.

Our Land-Based Neighborhood Empowerment projects include:

Oak Park Sol Community Garden

An artistic gate, slightly ajar, leading to the community garden.

Oak Park Sol Community Garden

A publicly accessible community garden in the heart of Oak Park. This garden grew out of a neighborhood desire to have a creative green space that could serve as a place to grow food, demonstrate sustainable practices, share knowledge, and build community connectivity.

Oak Park Art Garden

An artistic sign that says, "Art. Love. Unity."

Oak Park Art Garden

This project is utilizing a land lease agreement with an option to buy to gain access; the property is privately owned. The community is creating a wide array of interactive art and garden projects that will begin the transformation of this high visibility corner lot in Oak Park. This will also become Sacramento’s first publicly accessible Community Food Forest project.

Pansy Community Garden Park

The vacant lot, surrounded by a chain link fence, that will become the Pansy Community Garden Park

Pansy Project Lot

Alchemist CDC acquired ownership of a vacant parcel on Pansy Avenue in the Oak Park neighborhood of Sacramento. We are working with neighbors to convert this previously vacant lot into a community park and garden.


Community Food Connections

Community Food Connections project was formed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This project partners with local Elementary schools to identify high-need food-insecure families. A local school liaison identifies families in need, conducts a thorough needs assessment, and then connects families to the program. Additional periodic assessments are done with participating families to identify changes in need and effectiveness of the program. We deliver farm fresh produce and grocery staples to these families that have barriers to accessing traditional emergency food distribution sites (e.g., seniors or other COVID-vulnerable family members in the household, lack of transportation, single caregivers, etc.) We deliver groceries right to their door every week, and additionally provide food to homeless students and their families through multiple school liaisons. We prioritize purchasing our produce from small-midsize local growers whenever possible, resulting in additional economic support for our region.

Our Past Projects also help tell the story of how Alchemist has grown and engaged in the work of Neighborhood Empowerment.