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Shepard Center may get new management

The Shepard Garden and Arts Center is used by nearly 30 clubs.
(Photo: Courtesy SGAAC)

Friends of East Sacramento may soon oversee McKinley Park landmark

Shepard Garden and Arts Center, Sacramento’s longtime clubhouse, may soon be getting a change of management.

At 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 3, the center’s current board will consider shifting management of the 2,000-square-foot center to Friends of East Sacramento. Lisa Schmidt of Friends of East Sacramento will answer questions about the potential change.

The meeting will be held the Shepard Center, 3330 McKinley Blvd., in McKinley Park. Representatives of clubs that use the center are urged to attend.

If approved, the changeover would become fully effective July 1. But it’s expected that the Friends of East Sacramento will start handling event scheduling as soon as March 1.Under a lease arrangement with the City of Sacramento, Friends of East Sacramento already manages Clunie Community Center and the McKinley Park Memorial Rose Garden. Like the rose garden, the Shepard and Clunie centers are located in McKinley Park at H Street and Alhambra Boulevard.

For several years, Friends of East Sacramento has leased the Clunie Center from the city. In turn, the Friends have been in charge of upkeep and scheduling events at the popular venue.

In recent years, the non-profit Friends of the Shepard Garden and Arts Center has managed the facility, which is used regularly by nearly 30 local clubs and organizations. It’s also a popular venue for meetings and special occasions.

“This board took over management of the facility four years ago from the City of Sacramento,” the Shepard Center committee explained in a notice to the clubs that use the facility. “It is responsible for all the day-to-day activities, scheduling, hiring employees, billing, renting the facility to outside users, interior contents and structures, as well as the Japanese garden area and the perimeter gardens.”

With so much use, maintenance and staffing issues have been problematic.

“The board has received complaints from clubs including: Monitors not available to open facility as scheduled; room set-up not completed as specified by the club; lack of communication, emails and phone calls unanswered; billing and overtime charge errors; and many calendar scheduling mistakes,” according to a notice distributed by the Shepard Center leaders.

“The board explored many options to solve these problems,” the notice continued. “We have determined that the best solution is to change management of the SGAC.”

The advantages come in central management for McKinley Park’s major venues.

Said the center’s board, “There will be centralized scheduling and billing; direct management of staff including a facility manager, monitors and maintenance crew; the building will be fully operational and clean; there will be timely communications via email, text (and) phone and a weekly calendar of events emailed. … There is also an opportunity for increased outside rentals.”

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For week of Sept. 24:

This week our weather will be just right for fall gardening. What are you waiting for?

* Now is the time to plant for fall. The warm soil will get these veggies off to a fast start.

* Keep harvesting tomatoes, peppers, squash, melons and eggplant. Tomatoes may ripen faster off the vine and sitting on the kitchen counter.

* Compost annuals and vegetable crops that have finished producing.

* Cultivate and add compost to the soil to replenish its nutrients for fall and winter vegetables and flowers.

* Fertilize deciduous fruit trees.

* Plant onions, lettuce, peas, radishes, turnips, beets, carrots, bok choy, spinach and potatoes directly into the vegetable beds.

* Transplant cabbage, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower as well as lettuce seedlings.

* Sow seeds of California poppies, clarkia and African daisies.

* Transplant cool-weather annuals such as pansies, violas, fairy primroses, calendulas, stocks and snapdragons.

* Divide and replant bulbs, rhizomes and perennials. That includes bearded iris; if they haven’t bloomed in three years, it’s time to dig them up and divide their rhizomes.

* Dig up and divide daylilies as they complete their bloom cycle.

* Divide and transplant peonies that have become overcrowded. Replant with “eyes” about an inch below the soil surface.

* Late September is ideal for sowing a new lawn or re-seeding bare spots.

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