A superb article in the Sacramento Bee about the refurbishing of this historic site in the American River Parkway.
“As campers straighten up tents, gather firewood and rest after a day of activity, nature responds with the calming of wildlife and the quickly darkening sky.
“But not all goes black in the night at Camp Pollock. The ambient glow looming like a spirit summoned by the night’s campfire tales is from downtown Sacramento, a mere two miles away.
“While some Sacramento residents know of Camp Pollock’s 11 acres along the north bank of the lower American River, and former Scouts tell stories of childhood nights camping on its grounds, others cringe at the idea of pitching tents in an area with a reputation for homeless encampments and vagrant activity.
“Until January, when it was bought by the State Lands Commission, Camp Pollock had been owned and run by the Boy Scouts of America since 1923. The Sacramento Valley Conservancy, which leases the grounds, has opened the camp to the public for day trips and to youth groups for overnight campouts.
“Since the ownership change, more than 500 children have camped there, and bicyclers, canoeists and barbecuers have taken advantage of the large outdoor space.
“Aimee Rutledge, conservancy executive director, said homeless camping occurs on the downtown part of the parkway, but she said there have been no safety problems since Camp Pollock reopened.
“We have worked really hard with the county of Sacramento – they own land right next to us as part of the parkway – to patrol and keep it clear,” Rutledge said. “It’s been working out great.”
“Jeff Leatherman, parks director for Sacramento County, said that in the past year, two teams – each comprising two rangers and a maintenance person – have patrolled seven days a week for illegal camping on the 4,500-acre parkway.
“Records show that rangers have issued about 500 evictions, notices to vacate and citations since Jan. 1 for the entire American River Parkway, from upstream at Hazel Avenue to the confluence of the Sacramento and American rivers.”