WPA Rock Garden

This is a tiny one-acre garden crammed full of a wide variety of plants, including a lot of California natives. It’s beautifully maintained and provides photo opportunities throughout the year. Don’t let its name fool you; it’s not a garden full of nothing but rocks. It’s a vivid floral garden with beds surrounded by shallow walls of stones.

Easy to Locate? Yes
Pet Friendly? Yes. Dogs MUST be on a leash
Easy to Walk? Yes.
Is there a Fee? No, access to the garden is free.
Are there Restrooms? No
Is there Accessible Parking? Yes. It’s the same parking lot used for the Sacramento Zoo and William Land Park
Other Notes: Walk s-l-o-w-l-y through the garden to see all that it has to offer. Going early in the morning will mean there will be less foot-traffic; going in the afternoon will allow you to see many native bees pollinating the garden, including the endemic Valley Carpenter Bees.

See my FLICKR account for more albums of photos taken at this location throughout the last several years.

Located off of Land Park Drive in Sacramento, CA, adjacent to the Fairy Tale Town children’s park and the William A. Carroll Amphitheater, and across the street from the Sacramento Zoo, the one-acre garden is open to the public.  There is no entrance fee; the place is dog-friendly, and the winding pathways are easy to walk.  There’s a gazebo to sit in if you get tired, and the paths in the garden open out to the William Land Park Duck Pond.  Parking is usually more than adequate unless there’s a big event going on.  There is a restroom, but you have to go through the garden and across the duck pond area to get to it, so… you might have to run fast.

The garden was initiated as part of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration (WPA) work-relief program in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s.  The Depression had left a lot of artisans out of work, so the WPA put them on projects to help beautify their local cities and towns.  This garden was one of those projects.  By the late 1980’s, however, the funding for the garden had run out and it was in a sad state of disrepair and over-growth.  In 1988 the garden was taken over by Daisy Mah, who has degrees in Art and Horticulture. You can read more about Daisy and the garden in a detailed article written for aNewsCafe.com.

How to Get to the WPA Rock Garden

It’s adjacent to the William Land Regional Park and across the street from the Sacramento Zoo.

• Take Interstate 5 (I5) to the Sutterville Road exit
• As you come up the off ramp, turn LEFT onto Sutterville Road
• Take Sutterville Road to the light at Land Park Drive
• Turn LEFT onto Land Park Drive

You’ll see the zoo to your left, but you’ll need to park in the parking lot on your RIGHT. [Additional parking can be found behind the FairyTale Town park.]

Travels of a Certified California Naturalist