SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The plan to revive the Old Sacramento riverfront is taking new shape with help from a group of middle school students.

City officials backed a plan in January to redevelop Old Sacramento with a new public market and a “family-friendly activity zone.”

Students from Natomas Charter School presented their improvement ideas to the city planning commission on Thursday. The seventh-graders delivered an inspiring look at what could take shape along the riverfront.

“We wanted to create a park on the Riverfront with two arches, kind of similar to the St. Louis arch, so people can enjoy a farm-to-fork restaurant,” said Nareg Chopourian.

Their social studies teacher, Kevin Dobson, presented his students with a unique challenge.

“We came up with an idea that we were going to look into what building monuments says about a civilization and learn about that and apply it to Sacramento,” he said.

The four-month assignment coincided with a call for development ideas from Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg who said he wanted to start small projects on the 3.5-mile riverfront from Discovery Park to Miller Park.

But students admit the brainstorming process wasn’t easy.

“We knew we needed something where people could enjoy the riverfront, but it also needed to show Sacramento’s history and so it was hard to bring all of those elements to one attraction,” Chopourian said.

With presentations detailing plans for their farm-to-fork restaurant on two arches, students also showed how they would incorporate parts of California history in an LED bike path that would connect the ne Powerhouse Science Center and downtown railyards.

“I feel like there’s so much potential, because it’s a really pretty area and it’s super close to downtown,” Chopourian said.


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