Past Projects

We have a history of work on various projects and programs that are no longer ongoing. Some projects were successfully completed and wrapped up; others were experiments with new approaches that provided learning opportunities; and some others led to current projects.

34th Street Offramp

This project worked within the CalTrans Adopt-A-Highway program to gain access for the neighborhood-lead transformation of this gateway location. Project goals included:

  • low maintenance, habitat design developed through resident input
  • ongoing maintenance and upkeep managed by Alchemist and neighborhood stewardship team
  • working with District 5 council office to explore possibility of a public art/”Welcome to Oak Park” project in the space.

Stewardship for this project has moved to the Oak Park Neighborhood Association. We are happy to see OPNA taking responsibility for the care of this important gateway to the neighborhood.

Corner Store Conversions

With support from the California Endowment’s Building Health Communities initiative, Alchemist worked with convenience stores to add healthy and nutritious food options alongside the staples of soda, chips, and candy. You can read more about this from Sac News and Reivew, Sacramento Press, and Access Local. You can also listen to a retrospective interview about this program on Episode 4 of the Food for All Podcast.

Healthy Eating Store Tours

Pairing well with the Corner Store Conversions, Alchemist previously offered Healthy Eating Store Tours. By partnering with other local organizations, Alchemist connected with local residents and took them on tours of their own local stores, helping them to better understand nutrition labels and identify nutritious food options.

Healthy Eating Community Ambassadors

Alongside the Corner Store Conversion project, Alchemist received a small grant that allowed us to pay community members to hold healthy produce preparation demonstrations and sampling in front of the store working with us to offer nutritious food. The Community Ambassadors were provided with nutrition education and materials that they then shared with passers-by and shoppers, while also doing demonstrations and sampling.

Pop-Up Farm Stands

One of our earliest projects involved setting up pop-up, temporary Farm Stands in under-served communities. A farm stand operated like a small farmers’ market, with Alchemist purchasing and re-selling fresh produce at low-cost in neighborhoods without access to fruit and vegetables. You can read more about this from the Sacramento Bee.

Valley-Mack Farmers’ Market

For a short period, Alchemist took over the market management of the Valley-Mack Farmers’ Market that provided access to fresh produce in a South Sacramento neighborhood. This market was well-loved but eventually lost its home when the property was developed for other uses. Farmers’ Markets continue to be central to our mission and we are always excited for efforts to bring markets to under-served neighborhoods.

Green Alleys

Along with partners and volunteers, Alchemist CDC worked to transform a previously neglected alley way in South Sacramento into a vibrant community space through community clean-ups, weeding/mulching, adding greenery and engaging with residents. This project provided a great learning experience, demonstrating the ways in which a community can grow stronger even when a good project runs into major obstacles. Our desire to partner with residents in place-making and beautification is still active and a continuing part of our work. If you have an alley you would like to beautify, green, and improve, let us know!