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‘Day on the Ranch’ highlights hidden nature preserve, conservation

Attendees taking a closer look during a guided tour of the Ranch's drought-demonstration garden.
Attendees taking a closer look during a guided tour of the Ranch’s drought-demonstration garden.

A small crowd of community members and city leaders came together for a day of workshops, food, and tours at the newly enhanced Stock Ranch Nature Preserve — a 47-acre park, tucked away behind the Citrus Heights Wal-Mart and Costco.

“It’s a beautiful, pristine, natural preserve, right here in the middle of a city,” said Vice Mayor Sue Frost, who attended the event. “You wouldn’t even know it’s here.”

A welcoming ceremony for the event was kicked off by Mayor Mel Turner, and Sunrise Recreation and Park District Administrator Dave Mitchell, who commented that the weather was perfect for the outdoor event.

Several guided tours were scheduled throughout the day, but visitors were free to look around on their own–choosing between nature preserve and garden tours, and compost or mulching workshops. Some chose to grab a bite to eat at an area set aside for food trucks.

A tour through the drought-tolerant demonstration garden provided a visual example of many plants that require little watering — a topic on the mind of many during the current historic drought. Mulching around plants and using drip irrigation were also emphasized as ways to save water, especially during a time when the Citrus Heights Water District is asking residents to drop water usage by 20 percent.

Attendees remained interested throughout the four hours of activities, with the Vice Mayor calling it a great “learning experience.” She added that the compost workshop inspired her to begin composting kitchen food scraps in her backyard, rather than just tossing it in the green bin.

Free compost enclosures were handed out by the Sacramento Tree Foundation, who hosted several of the workshops.

The event was sponsored by the City, along with help from nearly a dozen other groups, including Costco and Wal-Mart.

More information about the ranch can be found at

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