Illegal camping has been a growing issue for the American River Parkway. Now, with 2,000-3,000 illegal campers, the impact is going to be felt for years to come.

There is an environmental crisis on the Parkway with habitat destruction from fires, soil compaction, interruption of wildlife behaviors and decline in water quality. There is also a humanitarian crisis with unhoused living among trash and waste, leading to exposure to more disease.

The American River Parkway Foundation has always addressed the impact on the Parkway through clean-ups, habitat restoration and other programs. But the community asked us to step up and do more to lead the efforts to urge action.

In January 2022, the Parkway Foundation began to publicly pressure our local leaders and municipal staff. This included the release of our Demand Letter and development of the Voice of the Parkway Coalition.

See some of the other actions we’ve taken specifically to address illegal camping.

January 25, 2022 – American River Parkway Foundation Submits the Demand Letter January 25, 2022 – American River Parkway Foundation Submits the Demand Letter
January 25, 2022 – Voice of the Parkway Coalition Launched January 25, 2022 – Voice of the Parkway Coalition Launched
January 31, 2022 – American River Parkway Foundation Begins Meeting with Stakeholders January 31, 2022 – American River Parkway Foundation Begins Meeting with Stakeholders
March 12, 2022 – Special Clean-Up with Local Elected Officials March 12, 2022 – Special Clean-Up with Local Elected Officials
March 22, 2022 – Voice of the Parkway Coalition Mobilized in Support of March 31 Deadline March 22, 2022 – Voice of the Parkway Coalition Mobilized in Support of March 31 Deadline
April 30, 2022 – The Washington Post Covers Politics Around Homelessness in Sacramento April 30, 2022 – The Washington Post Covers Politics Around Homelessness in Sacramento
May 1, 2022 – Five Star Bank Adopts the American River Parkway Foundation May 1, 2022 – Five Star Bank Adopts the American River Parkway Foundation
June 2, 2022 – Voice of the Parkway Coalition Mobilized for County Budget Discussions June 2, 2022 – Voice of the Parkway Coalition Mobilized for County Budget Discussions
June 9, 2022 – American River Parkway Foundation Speaks at the County Budget Hearings June 9, 2022 – American River Parkway Foundation Speaks at the County Budget Hearings
June 18, 2022 – American River Parkway Foundation Debuts New Video about the Plight of the Parkway June 18, 2022 – American River Parkway Foundation Debuts New Video about the Plight of the Parkway
June 28, 2022 – American River Parkway Foundation and Five Star Bank Appear on KFBK June 28, 2022 – American River Parkway Foundation and Five Star Bank Appear on KFBK
June 29, 2022 – American River Parkway Foundation Responds to the Low Numbers in the Point in Time Count June 29, 2022 – American River Parkway Foundation Responds to the Low Numbers in the Point in Time Count
July 3, 2022 – American River Parkway Makes the Front Page of The Sacramento Bee July 3, 2022 – American River Parkway Makes the Front Page of The Sacramento Bee
July 15, 2022 – American River Parkway Foundation Goes In-Depth on Studio Sacramento July 15, 2022 – American River Parkway Foundation Goes In-Depth on Studio Sacramento
August 10, 2022 – American River Parkway Foundation Comments on Proposed Illegal Camping Ordinance August 10, 2022 – American River Parkway Foundation Comments on Proposed Illegal Camping Ordinance
August 23, 2022 – American River Parkway Foundation Urges Sacramento County Supervisors to Continue to Make Finding Shelter Space a Priority August 23, 2022 – American River Parkway Foundation Urges Sacramento County Supervisors to Continue to Make Finding Shelter Space a Priority

January 25, 2022 – American River Parkway Foundation Submits the Demand Letter

American River Parkway Foundation submits a Demand Letter to the County of Sacramento and City of Sacramento demanding a plan to address homelessness and requesting better management of open space on the American River Parkway.

Read the Demand Letter

See the coverage:

Hundreds camping illegally on the American River Parkway have officials demanding a solution KCRA 3, March 12, 2022

American River advocates demand Sacramento remove homeless camps. But the county’s authority is limited Capital Public Radio, February 10, 2022

Parkway Activists Confront County Carmichael Times, February 9, 2022

American River Parkway Foundation demands action on homeless issue ABC10, January 27, 2022

Concerns Grow Over Illegal Camping In American River Parkway CBS13, January 27, 2022

American River advocates demand removal of homeless camps in appeal to Sacramento leaders The Sacramento Bee, January 27, 2022

American River Parkway Foundation Demands Action on Homeless Problem KFBK, January 26, 2022

January 25, 2022 – Voice of the Parkway Coalition Launched

The Parkway Foundation launches the Voice of the Parkway Coalition, composed of concerned Parkway users, local businesses, organizations and corporations. The Coalition receives regular updates on the actions the Parkway Foundation is taking and the latest Parkway news. The Coalition is also mobilized to support actions that conserve the Parkway.

Learn more about the Voice of the Parkway Coalition

January 31, 2022 – American River Parkway Foundation Begins Meeting with Stakeholders

The Parkway Foundation begins outreach to local elected officials, municipal staff, advocates for the unhoused, Parkway advocates and business leaders to discuss the Demand Letter and how the Parkway Foundation can be part of the solution.

March 12, 2022 – Special Clean-Up with Local Elected Officials

The Parkway Foundation hosts local elected officials for a special clean-up at the Northgate Access – one of the most impacted areas of the Parkway – where they can witness firsthand the devastation to the Parkway, interact with illegal campers and discuss possible solutions.

See the coverage:

Volunteers gather to clean up American River Parkway FOX 40, March 13, 2022

On Saturday, a clean-up event was hosted near the Northgate area to show local leaders the damage caused by camping first-hand in what was once a clean area ABC10, March 12, 2022

Hundreds camping illegally on the American River Parkway have officials demanding a solution KCRA 3, March 12, 2022

March 22, 2022 – Voice of the Parkway Coalition Mobilized in Support of March 31 Deadline

The Parkway Foundation mobilizes Voice of the Parkway Coalition members to contact their local elected officials and urge them to meet the March 31 deadline for a plan to address illegal camping on the Parkway outlined in the Parkway Foundation’s Demand Letter.

Local elected officials say they received hundreds of letters.

April 30, 2022 – The Washington Post Covers Politics Around Homelessness in Sacramento

The Washington Post published an article on homelessness in Sacramento, recent proposals to address it and views from different stakeholders in the community.

Included in the article was the opportunity for the American River Parkway Foundation to discuss the Parkway, how it is impacted and what these proposals may mean for our urban gem. The Parkway Foundation also led the Post team on a tour of the Parkway.

Read the story

May 1, 2022 – Five Star Bank Adopts the American River Parkway Foundation

Five Star Bank joins the Parkway Foundation in the conservation of the American River Parkway. The partnership kicked off with a marketing campaign that highlights the Voice of the Parkway Coalition.

The partnership will continue to grow as outreach expands.

June 2, 2022 – Voice of the Parkway Coalition Mobilized for County Budget Discussions

The Parkway Foundation mobilized the Voice of the Parkway Coalition in support of investment in a plan for the 2022-23 County of Sacramento Fiscal Year that not only helps get people off the streets and the Parkway, but that also provides them with the resources they need to stay housed. This includes suitable locations for shelters, wrap-around services and resources and a timeline to hold local leaders accountable.

At the same, Coalition members urged for the plan to consider the safety of residents and businesses. This includes good neighbor policies for sites that keep our communities clean and safe.

June 9, 2022 – American River Parkway Foundation Speaks at the County Budget Hearings

American River Parkway Foundation Executive Director Dianna Poggetto urges the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors to use budget funding to address homelessness in the County. Poggetto also introduces the Voice of the Parkway Coalition and how it was formed to help find solutions.

June 18, 2022 – American River Parkway Foundation Debuts New Video about the Plight of the Parkway

The Parkway Foundation debuts a new video that highlights the plight of the Parkway, details next steps, promotes the Voice of the Parkway Coalition and calls for all concerned community members to join.

June 28, 2022 – American River Parkway Foundation and Five Star Bank Appear on KFBK

Parkway Foundation Executive Director Dianna Poggetto and Five Star Bank President and Chief Executive Officer James Beckwith discuss why the organizations are working together to address illegal camping on the Parkway.

 

See the coverage on KFBK

 

June 29, 2022 – American River Parkway Foundation Responds to the Low Numbers in the Point in Time Count

The Sacramento County Point in Time Count is released showing a little more than 9,200 unhoused individuals were counted, but estimating there are 16,000-20,000 in the County.

The American River Parkway was included in the count for the first time and 594 individuals were counted in a less than a 5 mile stretch.

The Parkway Foundation released a response saying the count does not show the full picture of what’s taking place on the Parkway.

See the coverage on News10

July 3, 2022 – American River Parkway Makes the Front Page of The Sacramento Bee

The Sacramento Bee produced an investigative article on the issue of illegal camping on the Parkway and how the perceptions around homelessness are changing in the region. The Parkway Foundation was interviewed for the story and discussed the increased impact on the Parkway by illegal camping.

July 15, 2022 – American River Parkway Foundation Goes In-Depth on Studio Sacramento

Parkway Foundation Executive Director Dianna Poggetto appears on Studio Sacramento with Scott Syphax to discuss what the Parkway brings to the region, features of the Parkway, the challenges it faces and what the Parkway Foundation is doing to conserve our urban jewel.

August 10, 2022 – American River Parkway Foundation Comments on Proposed Illegal Camping Ordinance

Parkway Foundation Executive Director Dianna Poggetto and Board Member Karen Doron spoke in the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors’ Chambers during the discussion regarding an illegal camping ordinance on the Parkway. While the Parkway Foundation supported the ordinance, both Poggetto and Doron emphasized the need for more housing with wrap-around services for the unhoused community. Poggetto also mentioned what role the Parkway Foundation is playing in addressing homelessness in the County, including suggesting possible safe sites on the Parkway.

 

See Poggetto’s comments

See Doron’s comments

August 23, 2022 – American River Parkway Foundation Urges Sacramento County Supervisors to Continue to Make Finding Shelter Space a Priority

The Parkway Foundation attends a heated Board of Supervisors meeting, urging the passage of the ordinance that toughens restrictions on illegal camping on the American River Parkway, but to continue to make finding shelter space for the unhoused a priority. The Parkway Foundation released a statement later that night.

See the Coverage

ABC10: Sacramento County passes camping ban as city passes sidewalk clearing ordinance

FOX 40: Sacramento County Board of Supervisors votes to prohibit camping on American River Parkway

The Sacramento Bee: Sacramento leaders ban homeless camps from sidewalks, American River Parkway and more

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