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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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Garden Checklist for week of April 14

It's still not warm enough to transplant tomatoes directly in the ground, but we’re getting there.

* April is the last chance to plant citrus trees such as dwarf orange, lemon and kumquat. These trees also look good in landscaping and provide fresh fruit in winter.

* Smell orange blossoms? Feed citrus trees with a low dose of balanced fertilizer (such as 10-10-10) during bloom to help set fruit. Keep an eye out for ants.

* Apply slow-release fertilizer to the lawn.

* Thoroughly clean debris from the bottom of outdoor ponds or fountains.

* Spring brings a flush of rapid growth, and that means your garden needs nutrients. Fertilize shrubs and trees with a slow-release fertilizer. Or mulch with a 1-inch layer of compost.

* Azaleas and camellias looking a little yellow? If leaves are turning yellow between the veins, give them a boost with chelated iron.

* Trim dead flowers but not leaves from spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils and tulips. Those leaves gather energy to create next year's flowers. Also, give the bulbs a fertilizer boost after bloom.

* Pinch chrysanthemums back to 12 inches for fall flowers. Cut old stems to the ground.

* Mulch around plants to conserve moisture and control weeds.

* From seed, plant beans, beets, cantaloupes, carrots, corn, cucumbers, melons, radishes and squash.

* Plant onion sets.

* In the flower garden, plant seeds for asters, cosmos, celosia, marigolds, salvia, sunflowers and zinnias.

* Transplant petunias, zinnias, geraniums and other summer bloomers.

* Plant perennials and dahlia tubers for summer bloom.

* Mid to late April is about the last chance to plant summer bulbs, such as gladiolus and tuberous begonias.

* Transplant lettuce seedlings. Choose varieties that mature quickly such as loose leaf.

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