When a local group of Sacramentans sought to establish a “sister city” relationship with a city in China, Jinan was selected because of its many similarities with Sacramento. The two cities lie at the similar latitude on Earth, on the opposite side of the globe set apart by the Pacific Ocean (Sacramento Latitude: 30° 31′ N, Longitude: 121° 30′ W; Jinan Latitude 36° 40′ N and Longitude 116° 57′ E). Sacramento is the capital of California, and Jinan is the capital of Shandong province. Sacramento is located along the Sacramento River and just sound of the American River’s confluence in California’s Central Valley, while Jinan is situated on the lower reaches of the Yellow River – the second longest river in China. The Sister City affiliation with Jinan was endorsed by the Sacramento City Resolution on October 16, 1984. The Jinan-Sacramento Sister Cities Corporation (JSSCC) was established then and continues to promote the sister-city friendship as a non-profit 501(c)3 organization.
Jinan is known as the “City of Springs” because of the large number of natural artesian springs. The majority of the springs, many of which have been historically listed under the “72 Famous Springs” concentrated in the downtown district and flow north to converge in Daming Lake. The Baotu Spring Park is the most popular of the springs in Jinan. Besides the Baotu Spring, the park contains several other springs that are listed among the “72 Famous Springs”. “Baotu” means “jumping and leaping” in Chinese. The water in the spring pool can be seen foaming and gushing, looking like a pot of boiling water. The spring was visited by the Emperor Qian Long (1711 A.D. – 1799 A.D.) of the Qing Dynasty who declared it “the first spring under the heaven”. A tablet with the Emperor’s handwriting “Baotu Spring” has since been erected beside the spring pool.