Driving Solutions to Issues Impacting the Parkway
The American River Parkway Foundation is constantly searching for solutions to issues that are impacting the American River Parkway. There are currently three issues we are focused on working with local leaders and stakeholders to solve.
There are an estimated 2,000-3,000 illegal campers along the full 23-mile stretch of the Parkway. The lack of action from our local leaders to address this issue drove the Parkway Foundation to submit a Demand Letter to the County of Sacramento and City of Sacramento in January 2022 pressing for coordination and action on finding solutions. Since the submission of our letter, we have connected with local leaders, business leaders, other Parkway advocates, advocates for the unhoused and media. We also held a clean-up for local leaders so they could get a firsthand perspective of the destruction that’s taking place on the Parkway and discuss solutions.
Through our discussions, this is what we’ve learned:
- Officials are anticipating the number of individuals counted during the Sacramento County Point in Time Count to exceed 10,000, double what it was in 2019.
- The City of Sacramento established a safe site for the unhoused at Miller Park and is focused on establishing more safe sites.
- The County of Sacramento declared a shelter emergency on Feb. 16, allowing the County to streamline the establishment of new shelters.
- The County is developing a tiny home village off of Florin Road that will house up to 125 people. It’s expected to open later this year. Read more
- The County is also committing $2.5 million to fund 60 beds at the Salvation Army in Sacramento for one year. Read more
- The City, County and local organizations need a single coordinated entry system they can work through to track touchpoints with unhoused individuals. Both the County and the City have committed funding toward this effort as has Sacramento Steps Forward.
- The Sacramento City Council passed a referendum that placed a measure on the November ballot. The measure would open the city to lawsuits from residents if leaders don’t take action to establish shelter beds or Safe Ground camping spaces for 60% of the city’s homeless population. Read more
- The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors is considering a similar ordinance or ballot measure. This will be discussed further at upcoming Board of Supervisor meetings.
- State legislators from local districts introduced legislation (AB 2633) that give Boards of Supervisors and other governing boards the authority to order the removal of illegal campers from special parklands “to protect and preserve sensitive natural habitat, critical wildlife, flood infrastructure, recreational activities, public facilities, public safety, and the adjacent community from significant environmental degradation.” This would allow our Supervisors to give more authority to Sacramento County Park Rangers to remove illegal campers from the Parkway. The Assembly Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee will discuss the bill on April 26. Read more
- The Washington Post covered the homelessness issue in Sacramento and the different proposals to address it. The Parkway is included in the narrative. Read more
The conversations continue and we have exciting news that will come soon.
In 2021, more than 200 fires burned over 15% of the Parkway. Most of those fires were human caused.
To highlight the devastation, the Parkway Foundation developed the Parkway in Peril video, which was released during a panel discussion about solutions to solving this issue.
The Parkway Foundation also formed the American River Parkway Fire Safe Council, a group of 60 organizations focused on implementing fire mitigation solutions outlined in a 2015 study that was commissioned by the County of Sacramento.
Open Space Management
Portions of the Parkway not in any of the 11 established recreation areas (i.e. Discovery Park, River Bend Park, Rossmoor Bar) are considered open space. The Parkway Foundation is attempting to work with the County to assume responsibility of vegetation management of the open space so that the County can continue to focus on established recreation areas as the priority.
This was also included in our Demand Letter.
How You Can Get Involved
We rely on the community to help us drive solutions, which is why we formed our Voice of the Parkway Coalition. This is a coalition of concerned Parkway users, local businesses, organizations and corporations focused on solutions that support the conservation of the Parkway.
More News and Resources
Voice of the Parkway Coalition
The Parkway is in crisis and we need your help. Learn more about our coalition and how you can play a role in protecting Sacramento’s greatest natural resource.
Parkway Foundation Brings Local Leaders Together for Clean-Up
Local leaders joined Parkway Foundation volunteers, board members and staff on March 12, 2022 for a clean-up near the Northgate River Access that allowed them to get a firsthand perspective at the destruction that’s taking place on the Parkway and discuss solutions.