The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors will vote on a Parkway Ordinance on August 10 at 2 p.m. If passed, the ordinance will toughen restrictions and consequences of actions on the Parkway, including illegal camping, open flames, use of generators and combustible liquids, construction and maintenance of structures, and modifications to the land. Read more about the ordinance. The Parkway Foundation supports this measure as one part of the solution to addressing the humanitarian and environmental crises on the Parkway. However, this ordinance won’t be effective without the other essential element: ensuring there is shelter and wrap-around services for the unhoused in the County, especially those living on the Parkway. We urge you to also show your support in at least one of the below ways: Attend the Board meeting at 700 H Street in Downtown Sacramento and participate in public comment. Call into the meeting at (916) 875-2500 and make a public comment. Send an email to and/or call your Supervisor. Templates can be found here. Even if the ordinance is approved, the Parkway Foundation will continue to work with the County on addressing homelessness. Thank you for learning more about getting involved. Let us know if you have any questions. CONTACT INFORMATION FOR SACRAMENTO COUNTY SUPERVISORS 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: BoardClerk@saccounty.net
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 www.ARPF.org/VoiceOfTheParkway. 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
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: Attend the budget hearings either in-person or online and take part in public comment to make your voice heard. Learn more from the Supervisors’ calendar. Or, Contact your Supervisor through email or phone call. Here are templates to help get you started. Feel free to personalize. Thank you for learning more about getting involved. Let us know if you have any questions. CONTACT INFORMATION FOR SACRAMENTO COUNTY SUPERVISORS 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: BoardClerk@saccounty.net
Thank you to everyone who helped with the push of our local leaders to develop a plan for removing illegal campers from the American River Parkway by March 31, including the Sacramento Coalition to End Homelessness for adopting the timeline. This topic has gained momentum in our discussions with local stakeholders about how this ties into the larger issue of homelessness in Sacramento County and how we can work together to develop solutions. So far the American River Parkway Foundation has received a response from the County of Sacramento, but no plan. And the City of Sacramento has not responded. We’re not done yet. Even though the March 31 deadline has passed, this issue is too important to let go. We will continue to grow the Foundation’s Voice of the Parkway Coalition and rely on its members to support our messaging to local leaders. We are also increasing our work with nontraditional stakeholders along with local businesses and corporations to apply unified pressure on our local leaders. Our message remains that the County of Sacramento and City of Sacramento need to stop blaming each other and work together on this issue. If they don’t, it will only continue to worsen and our communities, businesses and local parks will pay the price.