Oak Park Art Garden

Community food forest, park, public art space, and gathering place

Oak Park Art Garden Landscape Plan

Current Project Status

The Planning and Design application for the project was submitted to the City of Sacramento on Friday, April 12, 2024.

The application was accepted as complete on April 29 and now moves forward for review.

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The Oak Park Art Garden is located at 3834 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Sacramento, CA, 95820. Activation of this space by Alchemist CDC started in 2017, utilizing a zero-cost land lease agreement (with an option to purchase) between Alchemist CDC and the former, private owner.

Since 2017, the Art Garden has been cultivated and designed through intensive community input and volunteer work, as well as contributions from local organizations such as The Sacramento Kings Foundation, Green Acres Nursery, the California Native Plant Society, and Sacramento Natural Foods Co-Op. In its present condition, the Oak Park Art Garden includes Sacramento’s first public fruit orchard, a native plant garden, and community-created public art.

While the Art Garden has served as a wonderful resource for community engagement through volunteer landscaping and art projects, it is not conducive to other kinds of community engagement or gathering, lacking some of the critical infrastructure needed to support that kind of activity.


In 2021, the Alchemist CDC team put a plan into action to reinvigorate the Oak Park Art Garden by transforming it into a reimagined shared community space aligned with years of community input. In the Spring of 2022, Alchemist CDC was awarded $694,295 in Prop 68 funding, also known as the 2018 Parks Bond Act Statewide Park Development and Community Revitalization Grant to invest in the development of Oak Park Art Garden as a Small Public Place. The Oak Park Art Garden was the first project proposed by a non-profit rather than a municipal government entity to be selected for this grant award. Prop 68 funds projects which aim to protect, restore, and enhance California’s cultural, community, and natural resources.

The primary objectives of this grant funding are as follows:

  1. Acquire the approximately .39 acre parcel. Purchase of the property was completed in June 2023, using funds from the aforementioned grant.
  2. Construction of ADA accessible bathroom with drinking fountain and lighting. This requires connecting the lot to local utilities (water, sewage, and possibly electricity) and/or the installation of solar and on site battery storage.
  3. Construction/installation of new landscaping, ADA accessible walkways, and lighting throughout the parcel.
    1. Installation of permanent furnishings such as solar light poles, benches, etc.
    2. Upgrading mulch and woodchip paths to permanent ADA-compliant pathways.
    3. Installation of pollinator garden, edible plants, and native plants and grasses maintained with a smart irrigation system.
    4. Implementation of onsite stormwater management resources.
  4. Construction of Community Gathering Spaces, including shade, storage, and multiple community art installations.
    1. Installation of two 20’ shipping containers to be used to house community resource organizations’ operations. One shipping container will house the Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocate (SABA) Oak Park E-Bike Library and bike repair station. The other shipping container will house the Oak Park Tool Library, a lending resource for household tools.
    2. ADA accessible patio area with shade structure.
  5. Construction of decorative perimeter fence and creation of an iconic “Art Gate” entry serving as a fixture welcoming people into the Oak Park neighborhood.
    1. Flexible post system intended to support overhead and gateway art features, such as on a seasonal or revolving basis
    2. Rehabilitation of existing decorative perimeter fence

In addition to the funding received from the Statewide Parks grant, thanks to the advocacy of Asm. Kevin McCarty, Alchemist was also awarded $300,000 in Community Redevelopment Block Grant funding for this project. These funds are intended to close any gap in development funding due to the swiftly rising costs of construction. Additional funds were allocated to SABA to, in part, equip the electric bike library at Oak Park Art Garden as well.

While both grants allow for some flexibility in the date of project completion, we are optimistic that the space will be ready for activation and in full use by Spring/Summer 2025.

Frequently Asked Questions:

When do you expect Oak Park Art Garden construction to be complete?

While we hope to finish the project as quickly as possible, we feel confident that it will open by 2025.

Why is there a fence around the Art Garden?

The construction fence was installed in September 2023. This fence was needed to allow for the next steps as we move toward active construction and because the site was consistently treated as a dumping ground by contractors, arborists, and others. The pattern of illegal dumping at the site meant tha all of our volunteer capacity with Oak Park Art Garden was being eaten up just dealing with piles of junk and massive woodchip loads we could not use.

We look forward to the project’s completion and the removal of the fence as the Art Garden finally becomes the community asset it was meant to be!

How can I get involved with the Art Garden?

We always need volunteers! You can take a look at our volunteer calendar and plan to join us for any listed garden workdays or you can contact us directly with your interest in volunteering.