the magic water fountain on M Street

water fountain in the M Street mini-park
water fountain in the M Street mini-park

In my previous post, I complained about the non-functional water fountains at SacRT light rail stations, but in doing so, I remembered that I’d never posted about the water fountain on M Street in Sacramento. Herewith is my paean to the M Street water fountain.

In a tiny triangle park at M Street and 48th Street in East Sacramento is a wonderful thing, a public drinking fountain. Not only is there a drinking fountain, but also a decorative fountain, and benches, and flowers, and shrubs, and a patch of grass. I stop here on every trip, whether I’m thirsty or not, just to celebrate this little corner. Sometimes I’ll stop and lie on the grass, or sit on the bench and enjoy the fountain. Other times, it is just a quick drink and on with my trip. I’ve seen mothers here letting their kids play, and retired folks just passing the time. There is always a bowl beside the fountain for dogs to have a drink as well.

The water fountain raises M Street from just a nice quiet street to ride on into the stratosphere of a bike boulevard, or neighborhood greenway. This is the kind of thing that gives me hope that Sacramento could be a highly livable place. Of course this water fountain is in the suburbs (the inner ring suburbs, much more livable than the modern suburbs, but you know that), however, it makes this neighborhood seem so welcoming.

M Street mini-park
M Street mini-park

I don’t know how this mini-park came to be. I suppose it is maintained by the city, but I strongly suspect that it was the initiative of the neighborhood to create it. If anyone knows, please share.

What if Sacramento had water fountains every few blocks throughout the city? Would we see more people out walking, more people on bikes, more people talking to their neighbors at the fountains? I believe we would. Sort of the water coolers of the outside world, gathering places for people to talk. I’ve said before that coffee shops are a measure of livability, but so are public water fountains.

Stop by, have a drink, and ponder that, whatever its other challenges, Sacramento has wonderful spots of magic and livability.

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