Last year was one of change for the American River Parkway Foundation. At the request of our supporters, we took a more proactive approach regarding addressing illegal camping on the American River Parkway. Since submission of our Demand Letter in January 2022, we have pushed forward, bringing greater attention to the issue. This has led to media coverage locally and nationally, increased effort by local elected officials and municipal staff to address the issue, and funding locally and from the state focused on mitigating the impact of illegal camping. See the Full Timeline of Our Actions We are proud of what we have achieved, but none of this would have been possible without the support of the community. This includes members of the Voice of the Parkway Coalition – comprised of concerned Parkway users, businesses, corporations and organizations – advocating for the conservation of the Parkway. But our work was not limited to just our public affairs efforts. We have also made great strides in addressing the fire danger on the Parkway. Our Parkway Fire Safe Council has worked together to begin developing plans for mitigation. This includes the creation of a community wildfire protection plan – funded in entirety by the Parkway Foundation – that will identify areas for fire breaks, restoration and mitigation. This will allow all Parkway stakeholders to seek more funding to address fire issues on the Parkway. Our volunteer programs also continued to have a growing impact. Over 4,400 volunteers spent more than 13,600 hours on direct conservation of the Parkway, including clean-ups, invasive plant removal, trail maintenance and more. This is done through work with individuals, groups, families, businesses and others interested in conservation, project ownership, team building, family bonding and community service. (See list of accomplishments below.) With your help, the new year will bring more accomplishments. In 2023, look for the Parkway Foundation to: Replace the mile marker signs on the Parkway with new, more informative directional signage. Continued conservation of the Parkway through our volunteer programs, especially addressing impacts from flooding during this stormy period. Continue development of the community wildfire protection plan. Continue to educate the community about the Parkway. Continue to work with local elected officials and County and City leaders to secure land for shelter spaces and push for wrap-around services. Continue to invest in the Parkway through the TEICHERT-Parkway Fund, which is contributing $100,000 in 2023 to projects that will revitalize the Parkway from Cal Expo to Discovery Park. Thank you for being a part of this vital mission through volunteering, financial support and helping to spread the word about the beauty of the Parkway. Together we can continue in our mission to lead and inspire the community to conserve and nurture the Parkway as a unique, accessible resource for everyone to enjoy. Dianna Poggetto Executive Director, American River Parkway
When will enough be enough?That is the question we’ve been asking officials and Supervisors with the County of Sacramento since submitting our Demand Letter in January. Over the past three years, the illegal camping situation has worsened with more than 2,000 campers now living on the Parkway. That has led to a deterioration in environmental, public health and humanitarian conditions, which has a devastating effect on the Parkway and the people living on it. We need your help pressing our leaders for answers and solutions! County Supervisors hold regular public meetings and we encourage you to attend and ask: What is the timeline for establishing more shelter space, especially for those living on the Parkway? How will the $25 million that is coming from the state be allocated to benefit the Parkway? What is the plan for using the federal funding from the America Rescue Plan? We now have ordinances in the County that prevent illegal camping on the Parkway. When will they be enforced? Millions of dollars are being allocated to address homelessness in the County. Where are the results? Where are the shelters? What is the latest on the partnership with the City of Sacramento, including the signing of the MOU? The next opportunity is Sup. Rich Desmond’s community meeting tomorrow night (Oct. 6) at 6 p.m. It’s taking place at the Gibbons Park, Mission Oaks Community Center located at: 4701 Gibbons Drive Carmichael, CA 95608 Please attend and make your voice heard!
In January, the American River Parkway Foundation (ARPF) submitted a letter to the County of Sacramento and City of Sacramento demanding they take action to alleviate the amount of illegal camping on the Parkway and provide funding for restoration efforts. Park rangers estimate 2,000 people are spending the night/living along the 23-mile stretch of the Parkway. This is having an impact on the wildlife, the environment, critical infrastructure and visitors by diminishing water quality, increasing fire danger and introducing contaminants. Read the full demand letter here For years, local leaders have developed plans to provide resources and housing for the unhoused throughout the County. With record amounts of funding available, it’s now time for the County and City to work together to implement solutions and get as many of these individuals as possible into housing where they can receive the services they need. Since the submission of the letter, ARPF has been in contact with two Sacramento County Supervisors and four Sacramento City Councilmember as well as a number of organizations and individuals focused on helping the unhoused. Our outreach is continuing with the goal to connect with more of our local leaders and advocates. Media also had an interest in our story. We provided comments to The Sacramento Bee and conducted interviews with CBS 13, ABC10, KFBK, Capital Public Radio and The Carmichael Times explaining why we submitted this letter and what we are hoping to see from our local leaders. You can find links in our social media. Please stay tuned for updates as our efforts continue.