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BOOST Participant–City of Arcata

Beacon Participant Profile

About Arcata:

The City of Arcata is located on the Northern California coast, 275 miles northwest of San Francisco, in the heart of the redwood region. Though considered rural, a large portion of Arcata lies within the California Coastal Zone. The city is home to Humboldt State University, with a student body equaling nearly half of the city’s population. The last twenty years have brought significant changes to Arcata and further changes in social, economic, cultural, and environmental factors seem certain for the future.

  • Population: 17,231 (2010)
  • Location: Humboldt County
  • Area: 11 square miles
  • Poverty rate: 37.2%
  • Median household income: $30,866
  • Language other than English spoken at home: 15.1%

BOOST Activities:

  • Help create a systematic and unified approach to public engagement that includes innovative activities, cohesive messaging and an easy-to-understand structure. 
  • Seek, review and enhance grants to help fund the Arcata Gateway Specific Area Plan and other land use and housing related initiatives 
  • Highlight Arcata’s efforts around climate action, inclusive public engagement and equity-related projects.  

BOOST Successes:

ILG helped Arcata secure $15 million through five grant programs to help bring infill affordable housing and critical infrastructure to the community, including one of the first Affordable Housing & Sustainable Communities grants awarded to a Native American tribe. ILG provided customized public engagement training to the city, from which Arcata developed an inclusive and meaningful approach to engage residents around a community vision, General Plan update, and infill development plans. 

Case Story

Arcata Balances Environmental Interests with New Housing and Development
Small city gets a big BOOST

Meet the City of Arcata! Located on the Northern California coast, 275 miles northwest of San Francisco, Arcata is a unique city because it is both rural and coastal. Residents value the natural environment and small-town vibe, but Arcata also welcomes tourists and film crews who come to visit and film the majestic redwood trees and picturesque coast. Humboldt State University students, who make up half of Arcata’s population, create an exciting college town atmosphere.

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