We’re starting to explore another region in Sacramento! Welcome to the town of Courtland (population 355), located in the Sacramento Delta. Local teens are currently in the process of exploring the history of their local high school, Delta High, and will begin to post their thoughts about their community in the next few months.
Postcard, 1910: Steamer “Capital City” San Francisco and Sacramento, California
From the Special Collections of Sacramento Public Library
Local teens collected 1800 photos documenting their experience living in the Gardenland/Northgate region of Sacramento. The teens focused on specific areas in the community that they felt needed improvement: neighborhood parks, local stores, trash on the streets and graffiti. This video presents only one aspect of this urban neighborhood in Sacramento, and many more stories will be shared from residents in this community. Music: “Shot in the Back of the Head” by Moby; used with permission.
The community that I live in and have been living in for about nine years, is a community with lots of violence and drug use. Teens in my generation are sometimes influenced by what is around them and some of the teens I have grown up with are into drugs or gangs. I, on the other hand, am proud to say that I try to stay out of trouble by attending The GreenHouse. The GreenHouse is a nonprofit organization in Gardenland/Northgate that allows kids and teens to grow in a healthy environment. The GreenHouse provide snacks, parties, carnivals, and field trips for kids and teens.
Before the GreenHouse, the community was messed up. Kids would walk around in their bare feet and there was always older people walking around smoking weed like it was legal. There were a lot of crimes happening in my neighborhood, with break-ins in apartments and robberies to random people. To the people in my community, that was an everyday thing, so we eventually just learned to deal with it and got used to all those crimes. Some people thought that was crazy, but to us it was just life.
A couple years went by and changes around the community started to happen. Kids would get help with their homework during the school year at The GreenHouse and during the summer we would still go to The GreenHouse to keep us busy and away from trouble. Crime started to decrease and everything was getting better. Now I’m happy to say that I love my community, even after all that has happened here. Even after all the fights, drive-by shootings, drug use and everything else. I LOVE the place where I grew up. For the young people that saw all of those crimes happen and have lived their life in “the hood,” for us, the best thing in our neighborhood, the place were we feel safe and encouraged, the place that changed our community for the better is The Green House.
— Karla, age 15
Teen living in the Gardenland/Northgate community.
Interview with Alfredo (Chito) Rosado, Youth Director, The GreenHouse
Recorded on May 17, 2012.
Location: The GreenHouse, 2201 Northview Dr., Sacramento, California.
Local teens interview Mr. Rosado on his experience growing up as a teen in Sacramento, as well as his work with the youth involved in The GreenHouse.
The photographs featured in this set depict a dirt path along the backside of an apartment complex and some of the images along the way. This path is the primary route to the nearest grocery store for numerous families in the Gardenland/Northgate region of Sacramento. Strollers, walkers, and grocery carts bump along this path that is maintained primarily through the hard work of the nearby residents. Depending on the season, young children have grass tower above their heads, or cough from the dry dust that’s kicked up in the summer. Teenagers and adults travel this path wondering if they’ll make it home without an altercation with the few homeless people living in the adjacent field.
All photos taken by teens from The GreenHouse, March-September 2012.
The neighborhood that we live in must avoid becoming a community of fear and hate, and instead, a proud community with mutual trust and respect. A lot of people fear what they don’t know, but we should all get the chance to know each other. Our community lacks a sense of unity, because we don’t have that connection with one another. I believe our community should really give themselves a chance to get to know better the people they live with. I am a reflection of my community, as we all are.
—Brayan, age 20
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