American River Parkway Foundation Responds to the Low Data Present in the Latest Point in Time Count

Locations chosen for counting do not reveal the whole crisis on the American River Parkway    SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The latest data from the Point in Time Count (PIT Count) does not show the true picture of the homelessness crisis on the American River Parkway (Parkway), according to the American River Parkway Foundation (Parkway Foundation). Seven sites on the Parkway were surveyed, resulting in only 594 illegal campers being included in the PIT Count. All of those were along the portion of the Parkway that runs through the City of Sacramento.    “The American River Parkway is ground zero for the homelessness crisis in Sacramento County. Even such a small sample size shows the large percentage of unhoused individuals that are illegally camping in the Parkway,” said Dustin Luton, president of the Parkway Foundation Board of Directors. “Imagine what the count would have showed if the whole Parkway had been included.”    The Parkway stretches 23 miles from the confluence with the Sacramento River up to the Nimbus Dam. Less than 10 miles of the Parkway runs through the City of Sacramento.    Impacts of illegal camping on the Parkway are evident by the number of fires that have occurred near encampments this year, including the 22-acre fire near Campus Commons, the 5-acre fire that threatened homes in Carmichael, another 5-acre fire that threatened homes near Guy West Bridge and, just yesterday, a 16-acre fire in River Bend Park. Other environmental impacts include soil compaction, environmental pollution and disturbance of wildlife habitat.    “Thanks to the efforts of volunteers that are on the Parkway on a regular basis, including our Mile Stewards, we have been able to track the illegal camp sites on the Parkway and determine the areas of high concentration,” said Dianna Poggetto, executive director of the Parkway Foundation. “We recognize the difficulty that can be present with gathering enough volunteers for an effort like the Point in Time Count. We want to bring awareness to the fact that this issue is much greater than these numbers show, which is why it’s important our leaders take action now.”    The Parkway Foundation formed the Voice of the Parkway Coalition to help Sacramento County address the homelessness crisis. This includes working with business leaders – like Five Star Bank – to help find land for shelters. The Voice of the Parkway Coalition also mobilizes concerned community members to urge local leaders and municipal employees to develop an overall homeless plan that includes social services and clear goals and timelines.     More details about the Voice of the Parkway Coalition 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… Continue reading American River Parkway Foundation Responds to the Low Data Present in the Latest Point in Time Count

Coyotes on the American River Parkway: Things to Know

Coyotes are common along the full 23-mile stretch of the American River Parkway. Here are a few things you need to know when it comes to interacting with them: Though you may see a coyote at any time of the day, they are most active at dawn and dusk. If you do see one, do not approach it and enjoy it from a distance. Coyotes are naturally curious and may follow or observe you from a distance. If a coyote gets too close, DO NOT RUN. Face the coyote and maintain eye contact. If a coyote gets aggressive, make loud noises and wave your arms. If this doesn’t work, throw rocks or sticks. Most encounters with coyotes result from the presence of a pet dog. This can be because the coyote sees the dog as potential competition, or – in the case of smaller dogs – as a food source. This is one reason why it is important to keep your dog on a leash at all times while on the Parkway. Keep small children and pets close if you see a coyote and do not leave them unattended while in coyote territory. January through March is coyote mating season. You may see coyotes exhibit more territorial behavior during this time. A coyote may “escort” your dog away from den/territory, food or pups during pup rearing season (Spring and Summer). It may also bluff charge your dog if it gets too close. If a coyote is aggressive, report the incident to Park Rangers by calling 3-1-1. Learn more about coyotes and how you can help keep them wild from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

American River Parkway Foundation Bicycle Jersey

Did you know the American River Parkway Foundation has a bicycle jersey?     Regular price is $99, but the Parkway Foundation arranged for a special price of $79! JERSEY DETAILS: • Comfortable fit for every rider • Full length hidden YKK zipper • 3 rear cargo pockets • Additional zippered pocket for valuables • Elastic waistband with silicon gripper • Reflective piping for visibility • Men’s & Women’s sizing (XXS-5XL) • Youth version also available (8-14) Click here to check it our and order yours


  Bikes. Beer. BBQ. What better way to have fun and support Sacramento's uniquely remarkable urban park? On Saturday, September 25, 2021 ride your bicycle along the beautiful American River Parkway, then party with us at William B. Pond Park with tasty barbecue, refreshing beer, and live music. Your registration fee includes support for your ride with rest stops along three route options, festival entry, lunch, beverages, and one drawing ticket for a chance to win awesome prizes! Additional prize drawing tickets will be available for purchase during the event. Cash only! Featuring live music from Rod Stinson Band and catering by Rossi Catering.   The Route  Want to bring the kids along? Or, maybe you'd like to skip the ride and just join us for the food and fun? We have options for you! We offer multiple options for cyclists of any ability. Choose from three suggested routes, ranging from 5 miles to 26 miles, or challenge yourself by riding the entire paved Jedediah Smith Memorial bike trail. All three event routes start and finish at the William B. Pond recreational area and are supported with rest stops along the way. Cruiser Route -- 5 miles Depart at 9:00 am. Ride upstream and turn around at Hagan Park. Fixie Route -- 12 miles Depart at 8:00 am. Ride downstream and turn around at Guy West Bridge. Roadie Route -- 26+ miles Depart at 7:00 am. Ride downstream and turn around at Discovery Park. Optional add-on: Ride upstream and turn around at Nimbus Fish Hatchery. Rest Stop Hours: Discovery Park 7:30 am to 10:30 am Guy West Bridge 8:00 am to 11:30 am Upper Sunrise 8:30 am to 12:00 pm Team Challenge Are you a member of a cycling team or club? Include your team name with your registration to compete for our annual Ride the Parkway team prize for most riders! Be sure all teammates enter the same team name to be included in the count   Party Details Post-ride festivities begin at 11:00 am at William B. Pond Park recreational area. A delicious barbecue lunch will be provided by Rossi Catering (vegetarian options will be available), along with beer sponsored by local breweries, while you enjoy live music by the Rod Simpson Band. Plus, your drawing ticket will give you a chance to win cool prizes from local restaurants, breweries, cycle shops, and more. Additional tickets available for purchase during the event. Cash only! Bring your lawn chair or picnic blanket!   Our NEW Ride the Parkway bike jerseys are now available to order! Orders from our jersey vendor Jakroo typically take about two weeks from online purchase to product delivery, so be sure to place your order in advance of the Ride the Parkway event. We recommend placing your order by September 1st to make sure you have your jersey in time for the Ride the Parkway event. $79 each ARPF arranged a discounted "team" price of $79 per jersey. (Regular retail price for the Jakroo FONDO jersey style is $99.) JERSEY DETAILS: • Comfortable fit for every rider • Full length hidden YKK zipper • 3 rear cargo pockets • Additional… Continue reading Untitled

Stopping the Stinkwort Invasion

ARPF volunteers pulling and bagging stinkwort

Despite its dainty foliage, stinkwort (Dittrichia graveolens) spells big trouble on the American River Parkway. Native to southern Europe, stinkwort was first observed in the Sacramento region in 2002, thought to have been introduced by seeds in landfill soil. This spunky plant thrives in hot, dry weather and soils that are gravelly, saline, or even contaminated with heavy metal. The fast-growing annual can be found in grasslands, but also performs well in areas where the ground is disturbed or nearly bare, such as fire breaks and along the edges of highways, roads, and trails. Stinkwort gets its name from the camphor-like smell of its sticky, resinous foliage. The annual plant germinates in the winter, remaining small until spring when it grows rapidly into a three-foot tall, upright shrub. Invading Spaces An invasive plant like stinkwort can dominate an ecosystem by out-competing native food plants. Being non-native, it provides no benefit to Parkway animals and insects and lacks natural limitations on its growth. It crowds out native plant species by overtaking resources, such as sunlight, nutrients, and water, disrupting an already fragile habitat. Stinkwort also contains  phytotoxins that inhibit the growth of surrounding vegetation, giving it a greater advantage over other plants. Parkway wildlife species are dependent upon native plants for food and shelters, and some plant-eaters create important food sources for other species. For instance, insects that feed on a specific native plant may be an essential protein source for frogs, lizards, and birds. The decline of the native plant harms the insects, and the decline of the insects then harms the other animals, rippling throughout the food chain.     A Seedy Battle A member of the sunflower family, stinkwort blooms in September, when other plants are already dormant or have gone to seed. Its small, yellow flowers produce highly transportable, dandelion-like seeds that are easily moved by water and wind. They also travel by gripping a variety of surfaces, including animal fur, human clothing, and vehicle or bicycle tires. According to USDA reports, a single stinkwort plant can produce an estimated 70,000 tiny, highly transportable seeds known to move over 200 meters in the air — about two football-field lengths. This means that removal efforts must be diligently repeated until the bank of fallen seeds around the original plant has been depleted, and surrounding land must be regularly monitored for new areas of growth. Fortunately, stinkwort seeds have a short life in soil, remaining viable for only two to three years.   Easy to Pull, Difficult to Contain Stinkwort is known to defy most control methods, even returning rapidly after wildfire. Hand-pulling has proven to be the most reliable way to remove the weed. It has a relatively short root system, making it easy to pull out, especially after a rain. However, if part of the plant remains, it can quickly regrow. Yet another challenge is that stinkwort seeds can ripen on pulled or cut plants if they have already flowered. Extracted plants must be securely bagged if… Continue reading Stopping the Stinkwort Invasion

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