Great American River Clean-Up 2021

On Saturday, September 18, 2021, more than 800 local residents removed 23,000 pounds of trash along the river in the span of just three hours for the annual Great American River Clean-Up (GARCU) in conjunction with the California Coastal Commission’s annual statewide clean up event. Volunteers of all ages gathered to collect trash and debris from Discovery Park to the Nimbus Fish Hatchery. Not only is trash unsightly for American River Parkway visitors, it pollutes our waterways, disturbs natural habitats and harms wildlife.

The total weight of garbage collected was the equivalent of about a school bus! Amidst this massive haul were some unusual items, including a prom dress, a yarn voodoo doll and a side chair with matching ottoman.

The 2021 GARCU event was held from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm at 17 different locations along the 23-mile long Parkway. Participating groups included:

Sacramento Valley Returned Peace Corps Volunteers

Employees of Hearst Broadcasting

Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation

Members Church of God International


CGI Consulting

Metro Edge

Sacramento Association of Realtors

Student Action Club at Del Oro

Sac State Student Environmental Organization

Sac State Community Engagement Center

Girl Scout Troop 3997

Students of Jesuit High School

Gold River Community Association

GARCU is our largest annual clean-up event. For nearly 40 years, we have invited the community to take part in this statewide movement that mobilizes tens of thousands of volunteers throughout California to clean up trash from local beaches, lakes and waterways.

In past years, up to 2,100 local volunteers have come out to help remove debris from multiple areas along the river, highlighting why the Parkway is the greatest civic amenity in this region.

Our financial sponsors are an important part of APRF volunteer efforts, providing funds for supplies, such as trash bags, nitrile gloves, hand sanitizer, first aid kits, water and snacks. For more information about volunteering for or sponsoring a Parkway clean up event, please contact us at (916) 486-2773 or email

Letter/Email Template and Call Script for Sac County Budget Ask


The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors will hold budget hearings on June 8, 9 and 10.


We are asking you to make your voice heard to push for more funding and a comprehensive plan that will help get unhoused individuals off the American River Parkway.


Latest estimates pin the homeless population in the County at more than 16,000, which is the result of inaction from local leaders. A plan with timelines and investment in additional resources will help decrease the number of illegal campers on the Parkway and return our local streets, parks, businesses and the Parkway to the community.


To help with the push, we ask you:


Thank you for learning more about getting involved. Let us know if you have any questions.



Supervisor Don Notolli, Sacramento County District 5 – Chair

Supervisor Richard Desmond, Sacramento County District 3 – Vice Chair

Supervisor Phil Serna, Sacramento County District 1

Supervisor Patrick Kennedy, Sacramento County District 2

Supervisor Sue Frost, Sacramento County District 4


CC on the email:

Parkway Etiquette: What you need to know when on the Parkway


All Users

  • Don’t litter and pick-up after yourself. The American River Parkway is a beautiful resource. You can help keep it that way.
  • No glass containers are allowed on the Parkway.



  • Children under 13 are required by law to wear a life vest when in the American River in Sacramento County. Adults are also strongly encouraged to wear a live vest.
  • Swim within your means and be vigilant. Cold water temperatures and strong undertows make the water more dangerous than it might look.
  • Monitor for warnings of water contamination or algae blooms before entering the water.



  • Always walk or run on the left side when on the bicycle trail. That way you can see oncoming bicyclists and they can see you. When on the right side, you can’t see bicyclists coming up behind you.
  • When possible, walk or run on the dirt shoulder of the bicycle trail and not on the pavement. If there is no dirt shoulder, stay as far left as you can. Or, utilize the dirt multiuse trails instead of the bicycle trail.
  • Walk or run in single file when on the pavement, especially when there is oncoming traffic.
  • Yield to equestrians. Horses always have the right-of-way.


Dog Owners

  • Dogs must be kept on a leash no longer that 6 feet. This will prevent encounters with people and animals like coyotes and rattlesnakes.
  • Pet owners are required to clean-up after their pets. There are 18 pup mitt stations along the Parkway if you do not have any bags.
  • Monitor for warnings of water contamination or algae blooms before allowing your pet to enter the water.



  • Ride on the right side of the bicycle trail and pass on the left.
  • Adhere to the 15 mph speed limit.
  • Faster traffic is responsible for yielding to slower and oncoming traffic.
  • Yield to pedestrians and equestrians.
  • Be predictable, including using hand signals when turning or stopping.
  • Ride in single file, especially when there is oncoming traffic.
  • Bicycles are not allowed on the dirt trails, except in the designated areas in the lower Parkway.
  • Cyclists under 18 must wear a helmet.



  • Let others know if your horse is safe to pass.
  • Avoid areas on the trail that are soft or muddy to prevent deep hoof ruts.



  • Whenever possible, remove fishing line from the Parkway.

Faces of the Parkway

Whether it’s through recreation, relaxation or nature, there are a lot of faces that can be found on the American River Parkway.

#FacesOfTheParkway explores the faces that you can see when you are out exploring our urban jewel.

Check this page and social media for regular updates.



Black-tailed Deer on the American River Parkway

Black-tailed deer are a common sight throughout the full 23-mile stretch of the Parkway. They’re part of the mule deer family and are recognized by their tails that have black or dark brown on top and white underneath.

Mating season usually occurs in November or December with fawns arriving in June-July. After birth, does and fawns join with others to form family groups while bucks form bachelor groups.

A fun fact about black-tailed deer is that their coats change colors throughout the year: in the summer they’re reddish-brown and in the winter they become brownish-gray.



On Water Recreationists on the American River Parkway

With the temperatures warming up, many Parkway users will escape to the water for on water activities. The Parkway is a great place for kayaking, paddle boarding, canoeing and boating.

But if you’re hitting the water, make sure to wear a life vest. Cold water temperatures and underwater currents can make the calmest waters more dangerous than they appear.



Runners on the American River Parkway

Hundreds of runners every day come to the Parkway to utilize the 23-miles of paved, multiuse trail as well as the 30-miles of unpaved trail. This includes everything from novices to Olympic runners like Sacramento native Kim Conley (learn more about the role the Parkway plays in her story).

It’s because of the recreational opportunities like running that the Lower American River is recognized as part of the National Wild and Scenic River System.


American River Parkway Foundation Invasive Plant Management Program Volunteers

Invasive plants are a real threat to the Parkway. They outcompete native plants, reduce food for wildlife and increase fire danger.

Through our Invasive Plant Management Program, our volunteers remove over 30,000 plants every year.

During events, volunteers use specialized equipment to remove French broom, Scottish broom, Spanish broom, red sesbania, yellow star thistle, stinkwort and more. Doing this allows our natural systems to flourish and prevents the loss of vital resources.

Learn more about our Invasive Plant Management Program


American River Parkway Foundation Clean-Up Volunteers

Parkway Foundation volunteers are vital to our efforts to conserve the Parkway. Every year, thousands of them dedicate some of their free time to removing trash and debris.

On average more than 130,000 pounds of trash are removed from the Parkway annually through our clean-up program.

Clean-ups are essential to the Parkway because they reduce blight and decrease the amount of pollution that ends up in our rivers and ecosystems. This is an issue that has grown as more illegal campers make their way to the Parkway.

Clean-ups are also great opportunities for team building and family bonding as well as to collect community service hours.

Above are just some of the faces from our clean-ups this year.

You can participate by signing-up for our larger clean-ups (Spring Clean-Up and the Great American River Clean-Up) or our monthly Sustainable Saturday Clean-Ups. We can also work with you to form your own group clean-ups, which take place throughout the year along the full 23-miles of the Parkway.

Learn more about our Clean-Ups

Rattlesnake Encounters on the American River Parkway: How to Avoid Them and What to Do in the Event of a Bite

Rattlesnakes are found on the American River Parkway. As the weather heats up, they will become more active, including at night when they may be hard to see.

Fortunately, rattlesnake bites are rare and mostly occur during improper handling of a snake or when they’re brushed against by someone walking or climbing.

Here are some tips from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife on how you can avoid a rattlesnake bite:

  • Stay alert when outdoors.
  • Wear sturdy boots and loose-fitting long pants. DO NOT wear sandals or flip-flops in brushy areas.
  • Stay on well-used trails. Avoid tall grass, weeds, and heavy underbrush.
  • Check rocks, stumps or logs before sitting down.
  • Shake out sleeping bag and tent before use.
  • Let others know where you are going, when you plan to return, and carry a cell phone. Hike with a companion when possible.
  • DO NOT grab “sticks” in water. Rattlesnakes can swim.
  • DO NOT let dogs off leash. Dogs are at increased risk when sniffing the ground near brushy areas.
  • DO NOT try to touch or handle a snake, dead or alive. Dead rattlers may still inject venom shortly after death.
  • Give live rattlesnakes enough space. They will usually escape before striking.

In the event of a rattlesnake bite, here is what you should do:

  • Stay calm – but act quickly!
  • Remove items which may constrict swelling (e.g., watches, rings, shoes).
  • Transport victim to the nearest medical facility.
    • Do NOT apply a tourniquet.
    • Do NOT pack the bite area in ice.
    • Do NOT cut the wound with a knife or razor.
    • Do NOT use your mouth to suck out the venom.
  • If a pet is bitten – Speak to your veterinarian about canine rattlesnake vaccine options.

Learn more about rattlesnakes, the importance of their conservation and how they behave at California Department of Fish and Wildlife website.


One Month Left to Submit a Letter of Intent for Funding from the TEICHERT-Parkway Fund

Up to $100,000 total will be distributed this year for one to three proposals that improve visitor experience on the American River Parkway


SACRAMENTO, Calif. – There is a little more than one month left to submit a Letter of Intent for the TEICHERT-Parkway Fund, according to the American River Parkway Foundation (Parkway Foundation). The TEICHERT-Parkway Fund will provide up to $100,000 in funding for proposals this year that improve the visitor experience on the American River Parkway (Parkway).


Letters of Intent are due June 15.


The TEICHERT-Parkway Fund is funded through generous donations from TEICHERT through their gravel mining operations and administered by the Parkway Foundation. Proposals should align with education, recreation, access or Parkway enhancements.


“Anyone can submit a proposal as long as the project occurs on or is connected to the American River Parkway,” said Dianna Poggetto, Parkway Foundation Executive Director. “This year we are especially looking for creative proposals that are innovative and link new technology to the Parkway’s visitor experience or enhance underutilized sections of the Parkway.”


Invitations to submit a full proposal will be shared with some applicants upon review of the Letters of Intent. Funding for successful applicants will be distributed in November of this year.


This is the second year for distribution of funding through the TEICHERT-Parkway Fund. In 2021, $20,000 was awarded to Romig Education Consultants to coordinate with local nonprofit organizations focused on Parkway education to develop a curriculum for Sacramento area schools that integrates the Parkway and meets current science standards.


“This group has attempted to work together in many forms for many years and this funding allows someone to further focus and organize the coalition; someone who has the time and financial backing to do this important work,” said Phil Romig, Founder of Romig Education Consultants. “As of this date, we have five educational programs on the parkway and 14 schools from a local district working together to design a systematic approach.”


Soil Born Farms was also awarded $19,500 in grant funding to establish access points to the Parkway from the organization’s campus. This will increase access to the Parkway and incorporate accessible walkways in the area.


More details about the TEICHERT-Parkway Fund, including how to apply, can be found at


About the American River Parkway Foundation

The American River Parkway Foundation (Parkway Foundation) is the only nonprofit organization focused on active conservation of all 23 miles of the American River Parkway (Parkway). Through managing programs like volunteer clean-ups, infrastructure improvements, trail maintenance, fire mitigation and education, the Parkway Foundation leads and inspires the community to conserve and nurture the Parkway as a unique, accessible resource for everyone to enjoy. Learn more at


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More Than 13,450 Pounds of Trash and Debris Removed by hundreds of Volunteers During Spring Clean-Up

The American River Parkway Foundation’s second largest clean-up of the year focused on eight locations along the American River Parkway


SACRAMENTO, Calif. – More than 400 volunteers removed over 13,450 pounds of trash and debris from the American River Parkway (Parkway) during the American River Parkway Foundation’s (Parkway Foundation) Spring Clean-Up on Saturday, April 23. That’s more than 33 pounds per volunteer.


Spring Clean-Up is the Parkway Foundation’s second largest clean-up of the year and took place at eight locations along the Parkway this year, including: Discovery Park, Northgate Parkway Access, Cal Expo Parkway Access, Northrop Parkway Access, Howe Avenue River Access, Watt Avenue River Access, River Bend Park and the Upper Sunrise Recreation Area. This is the first time the clean-up has been held since 2019.


“We love and appreciate our volunteers. These are families and involved community members that are giving up part of their Saturday to help us conserve the American River Parkway,” said Dianna Poggetto, Parkway Foundation Executive Director. “We would not be able to make the impact we do without their dedication.”


Some of the most interesting items found during the clean-up:

  • The Sacramento Bee newspaper dispenser
  • Unicycle
  • Toy gun
  • Plastic barrel
  • Shopping carts
  • Electric scooters


In addition to Spring Clean-Up, the Parkway Foundation hosts the Great American River Clean Up. This event takes place along all 23 miles of the Parkway and will be on September 17 this year. These large clean-ups are complemented by smaller group clean-ups the Parkway Foundation hosts year-round to form the Parkway Foundation’s Clean-Up Program. Last year, more than 138,000 pounds of trash were removed by Parkway Foundation volunteers through this program.


More details about Parkway Foundation programs can be found at


About the American River Parkway Foundation

The American River Parkway Foundation (Parkway Foundation) is the only nonprofit organization focused on active conservation of all 23 miles of the American River Parkway (Parkway). Through managing programs like volunteer clean-ups, infrastructure improvements, trail maintenance, fire mitigation and education, the Parkway Foundation leads and inspires the community to conserve and nurture the Parkway as a unique, accessible resource for everyone to enjoy. Learn more at


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American River Parkway Foundation Launches the #LoveTheParkway Campaign


April 18, 2022


American River Parkway Foundation Launches the #LoveTheParkway Campaign

Campaign will highlight the benefits of the Parkway and how the community can play a role in its stewardship

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The American River Parkway Foundation (Parkway Foundation) announced today it launched the #LoveTheParkway Campaign (#LoveTheParkway) to engage the community in the stewardship of the American River Parkway (Parkway) and encourage the community to explore the Parkway and discover all of the benefits it has to offer. #LoveTheParkway will be woven into all aspects of the Parkway Foundation, including; social media, newsletter communications, education on trail etiquette, programs, advocacy and merchandise.

“The #LoveTheParkway Campaign promotes the American River Parkway as an open resource for everyone to connect with nature right here in the middle of the urban core,” said Dianna Poggetto, the Parkway Foundation’s Executive Director. “There is no other park like it in the country and we want to ensure that visitors have a wonderful experience.”

The community and visitors can get involved in #LoveTheParkway by including the hashtag in social media posts about the Parkway. They can also submit testimonials about what the Parkway means to them by emailing or posting on social media using #LoveTheParkway.

The Greater Sacramento Region and beyond can financially support the Parkway through donations to the Parkway Foundation and by buying merchandise. Proceeds are invested into Parkway Foundation programs that directly benefit the Parkway. Information can be found at

“The Parkway Foundation focuses on conservation of the Parkway through clean-ups, trail maintenance, infrastructure improvements, invasive plant removal, fire mitigation, education on trail etiquette, and outdoor education. We wouldn’t be able to complete our work without the tremendous support of our thousands of volunteers,” said Poggetto.

The Parkway stretches 23 miles along the American River from the confluence with the Sacramento River up to Nimbus Dam. It is 4,800 acres in size and contains a diversity of habitats that are home to a variety of wildlife, including birds, coyotes, bobcats, snakes and even the occasional mountain lion.

The Parkway also serves as a source for recreation, which is why the Lower American River was designated as a National Wild and Scenic River. Every year, 5-8 million people visit the Parkway to run, hike, cycle, ride horses, kayak, float, bird watch and more.

“The Parkway is more than just a park. It’s everyone’s backyard. We appreciate the love the Sacramento region has for this urban jewel and are committed to its stewardship,” said Poggetto.

About the American River Parkway Foundation
The American River Parkway Foundation (Parkway Foundation) is the only nonprofit organization focused on conservation of all 23 miles of the American River Parkway (Parkway). Through managing programs like volunteer clean-ups, infrastructure improvements, trail maintenance, fire mitigation and education, the Parkway Foundation leads and inspires the community to conserve and nurture the Parkway as a unique, accessible resource for everyone to enjoy. Learn more at

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