CBS13: Park Rangers Crack Down On Barbecues Along American River Parkway To Reduce Fire Risk

Dianna Poggetto is the executive director of the non-profit American River Parkway Foundation. She says homeless campers continue to be the biggest fire threat.

“It’s the worst it’s ever been,” she said. “There are estimates of two to three thousand out on the parkway.”

The organization has formed a new fire safe council, which allows them to apply for grants and raise money for prevention projects.

“Our goal by next year at this time is to have over $500,000,” Poggetto said.

The county is also deploying sheep to help manage vegetation and they are working with people who own land adjacent to the parkway to create fire breaks—all efforts to protect this wildland from any more devastating blazes.

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Washington Post: In the capital of Blue State America, a new ferment over homelessness

“This is out of sight, out of mind,” said Dianna Poggetto, executive director of the American River Parkway Foundation, which oversees its programs, promotion and much of its upkeep.

This has been particularly difficult work as homelessness here has expanded, and since February, when Emma Roark’s body was found within its boundaries. Public fear has grown.

In March 2021, a coordinated volunteer cleanup effort filled seven dump trucks with trash, a total of three tons in three hours. Safe needle disposal boxes regularly overflow, the contents at times sticking cleanup volunteers.
Hundreds of fires, mostly small ones, break out along its length each year from the camps. A bill introduced earlier this month at the Capitol would make it easier for local governments to clear parks such as this one.

“If not for county maintenance and foundation volunteers, we’d be standing in a landfill,” Poggetto said. “Why would you want to see one of the great amenities of Sacramento destroyed?”

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KFBK: American River Parkway Foundation Cleanup Saturday April 23

The American River Parkway Foundation is holding its annual Spring Cleanup this Saturday, the foundation’s second largest clean-up of the year. The clean-up will take place from 9 a.m. to noon at eight locations along the Parkway. This coincides with the newly launched #LoveTheParkway Campaign, designed to engage the Sacramento region in the stewardship of the American River Parkway and encourage the community to explore the area. Community members can particpate in the interactive campaign through social media by sharing their stories about the Parkway and donating towards conservation efforts.

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FOX 40: Volunteers gather to clean up American River Parkway

Dianna Poggetto, the executive director of American River Parkway Foundation was among the volunteers.

“We are so fortunate to have this 4,800-acre, 23-mile waterway in the middle of our urban core that we can ride bikes on, we can kayak, we can horseback ride, all of these things as well as have family picnics, that we don’t want to see that go away,” Poggetto explained.

During the clean-up, Poggetto picked up a used syringe and dropped it into a plastic container.

“So, I’m carrying that, so nobody gets stuck,” Poggetto said.

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ABC10: 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.

The American River Parkway Foundation is calling on leaders from Sacramento County and the city of Sacramento to submit a plan by Mar. 31 for removing hundreds of unhoused individuals along the parkway.

On Saturday, they hosted a clean-up event and invited leaders to the Northgate area to participate and see the damage caused by camping first-hand in what was once a clean and peaceful area.

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KCRA 3: Hundreds camping illegally on the American River Parkway have officials demanding a solution

The American River Parkway Foundation created a ‘Demand Letter’ listing needs they want to be met immediately addressing illegal campers on the parkway.

The foundation wants both Sacramento City and County to work together to devise a plan by March 31 to move the 750 campers on the parkway into Sacramento-provided services.

“We’ve seen over the years the number of illegal campers just increase and we’re looking at the destruction of the parkway,” said Dianna Poggetto, Executive Director of the American River Parkway Foundation.

Saturday, the Foundation along with assemblymembers, Mayor Darrell Steinberg and the community worked to clean a segment of the parkway.

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KCRA 3: Sacramento-area lawmakers introduce bill to address public safety on the American River Parkway

In a separate meeting, KCRA 3 met with the American River Parkway Foundation, the group who work to preserve the 23-mile-stretch of 4,800 acres that line the American River through four municipalities.

“I don’t think the parkway has ever been a place where there have not been illegal campers, some people choose to be out here, the number of campers over the last three years has drastically changed,” said Dianna Poggetto, executive director of the American River Parkway Foundation.

According to the foundation in 2019, 200 to 300 people were living in encampments on the parkway, in 2022 there is an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 camping.

“It used to be just in the lower reaches, now the campsites are up and down the entire parkway…for people to visually understand the impact, if it wasn’t for the parkway foundations volunteers, and even Sacramento County Regional Parks maintenance crews, we would be standing in a, in a, it would look like a landfill,” Poggetto said.

Poggetto and the American River Parkway Foundation have not taken a stance on any legislation being discussed at this time.

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