For Immediate Release, August 17, 2012, Sacramento, California
AMERICAN RIVER PARKWAY PRESERVATION SOCIETY (ARPPS)
Illegal Camping in North Sacramento/Woodlake Area of the Parkway
Over the past several days we, and other Parkway organizations and public leaders, have been receiving emails with photos and pegged maps attached designating the ongoing proliferation of illegal camps in the North Sacramento/Woodlake area of the Parkway.
Much of this material is also being posted to the American River Parkway Woodlake Area Facebook Page.
This is a signal issue for us, as we believe that, until the entire American River Parkway is safe to visit by the families who live adjacent to it, public leadership is neglecting public safety in one of the most significant parks in the country.
We are, as is everyone else involved in this issue, deeply aware of the financial difficulties faced by local governments trying to meet their obligations in an era of diminished public funding.
This is why we have advocated for the formation of a Joint Powers Authority of Parkway adjacent entities who would then contract with, either an existing nonprofit or create a new one, to provide daily management and supplemental funding for the American River Parkway
More detail is on our website strategy page.
The benefits from forming this type of public private partnership are obvious from the example we often point to, Central Park Conservancy in New York City.
The Conservancy raises 85% of the funding needed by Central Park and has actually made the Park safe to venture into at night, virtually unheard of in the past, as this article from the New York Times notes:
“For as long as most New Yorkers can remember, the rules have been clear: Enjoy Central Park by day. Keep out at night.
“Someone, however, forgot to tell Fleur Bailey, a petite Wall Street trader who was walking her two Dalmatians in the park after 10 the other night.
“I can’t remember the last time I came across something that made me uncomfortable,” said Ms. Bailey, who lives on the Upper West Side and takes her dogs into the park as late as midnight. “Some people say, ‘You walk your dogs where at night?’ But I tell them that it’s perfectly fine.”
“And she is hardly alone. On any given evening, the park now hums with life well into the night. Couples stroll under pools of lamplight, while the park drive pulses with the footfalls of runners, the whir of cyclists and the desultory clop of carriage horses. Men and women jog happily around the reservoir.”
Right now, in the North Sacramento/Woodlake area of the Parkway, venturing into it alone during the daylight hours is not recommended, and as for going there at night, forget about it.
We can do better Sacramento, we can do much better!
American River Parkway Preservation Society
August 17, 2012