A collaborative effort by stakeholders in Nevada City’s historic district has resulted in a unique solution to some common irritants.
Smokers, irresponsible dog owners, campers and people who hang out in public spaces to the point where no one else can enjoy them are being targeted with an educational flyer emblazoned with a cheerful and iconic image of a sunflower growing along the Commercial Street boardwalk, and the legend: “Welcome to Nevada City, a town of beauty, health and peace.”
The flyers delineate a set of “house rules” to help travelers and visitors understand the expectations and standards of Nevada City, say organizers of the group behind the effort. They also provide contact information for a variety of local organizations such as Sierra Roots and the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce.
Among those expectations: No smoking in the historical district, keeping pets leashed, keeping public restrooms neat and clean, no camping in city limits, and being considerate of others when using public benches and seating areas.
The group, which includes business owners, the Nevada City Police Department, Sierra Roots’ Janice O’Brien and Reinette Senum, was looking for ways to provide information to visitors about the community’s expectations and standards, said Police Chief Tim Foley.
“It’s a long-term endeavor to create awareness,’ Foley said. “Smoking, obviously, is an issue. Also, keeping thoroughfares free from obstacles, keeping pets under control, getting people to allow others to use the parks and benches.”
Foley said the flyers were a mechanism to engage the public in a conversation, adding, “It’s a good thing — something that’s easily embraced.”
O’Brien said Sierra Roots had debuted a similar concept while working with the chronically homeless, with volunteers handing out cards asking clients to help keep the town “clean, safe and beautiful.”
O’Brien and Senum said the new flyers — which were printed up for distribution this month — were intended as a proactive measure, looking ahead to the end of summer when Nevada County typically becomes flooded with “trimmagrants,” here from all over the globe to pick and trim marijuana.
Not all of the trimmers — whom she likened to “modern-day Gypsies” — have a good sense of the community and of the impact they have on the tiny town, Senum noted.
“Some are very sweet and helpful, and others are very obnoxious,” O’Brien said, adding that many don’t realize the town has a no-smoking and dog leash ordinance, for example.
The flyers are intended as part of a “good neighbor policy to keep the town cleaner, safer and more friendly,” O’Brien said.
Senum envisioned the information on the flyer as a set of “house rules” that can help keep potential problems under control.
“We can’t be out on the streets, monitoring everyone, all the time,” she said, adding that the flyer tells visitors, “Here are some of the things we hope you will pay attention to.”
The response has been positive, Senum said.
“Most people, if you approach them nicely, they’re appreciative,” she said.
“We want them to know, ‘You’re welcome — but there are things we expect of you,’” Senum said. “We hope you can meet us where we are.”
To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (530) 477-4229.