Citrus Heights still retains the family-friendly atmosphere that made it so popular in the 1950s and 1960s. One of the city's most appealing features is its extensive network of parks and open space. Rusch Park has grown from its original 15 acres to its current 53 acres, making it the largest park in the Sunrise Recreation and Park District. Children's play equipment, baseball diamonds, swimming and wading pools, concession buildings, a community center, picnic areas and a creek and nature area can all be found within Rusch Park, as can tennis, basketball and volleyball courts. The park also boasts unique attractions, such as a redwood grove, a World War II memorial plaque and rose garden, and a bridge made from a boxcar.
A number of community events take place at Rusch Park. Each fall the park hosts Sunday FunDay, a community festival and craft show. The park draws a large crowd every April for the Iowa Connection picnic, an event for Iowa natives who now live in the greater Sacramento area. June brings the Citrus Heights Race Unity Day, organized by the local Baha'i community. This event was designed to promote racial and ethnic understanding and features skits, music and games.
The Sunrise Recreation and Park District does more than just maintain parks. The department also provides Citrus Heights teenagers with unique opportunities for leadership and cultural enrichment through the Teen Advisory Board and Teen Art Commission. These organizations allow local teenagers to take an active role in planning recreational activities and services and to participate in community service within Citrus Heights and throughout the Sacramento area. The Teen Board also plans three to six special "teen nights" each year, along with other events. Each event includes speakers who discuss relevant youth subjects and focus on teenagers' concerns and needs. Members of the Teen Board also perform community service, such as serving meals at Loaves and Fishes, a Sacramento charity, and handling food service at area events.
Another unique teen organization in Citrus Heights is the Teen Unity Team, developed in 1997. The team was originally formed for the purpose of taking part in a softball game with the police department in order to build better relations. Although their focus was on the city's youths, team members soon found that local senior citizens were beginning to rally on their behalf. In order to further these bonds, the Citrus Heights Teen Unity Team opened the Teen & Senior Unity Center in 2002.
The City Council's vision is that "Citrus Heights will be a pre-eminent city with active community involvement, comfortable neighborhoods, thriving businesses, and innovative government." One of the many ways the Council lives up to this vision is by providing a number of additional events, such as: the Health, Recreation & Leisure Fair; Monte Carlo Night; the Big Swing Annual Golf Tournament; Showcase Citrus Heights, a business community showcase; and the Honorary Mayor Celebration.
There are plenty of things to do in Citrus Heights. If volunteering is your passion, the Sunrise Community Parks Foundation provides volunteers, equipment and money to keep the many local parks thriving. If shopping is your pastime, you've come to the right place: Citrus Heights is one of the county's major retail centers, featuring Sunrise Mall, many smaller shopping centers and Birdcage Walk. Entertainment in Citrus Heights is convenient and affordable, from movie theaters to nightclubs and restaurants to golf courses. In Citrus Heights you'll find everything you would expect in a large city, but combined with the strong community setting of a quaint town.
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