While this supportive article in the Sacramento Bee about the proposed legislation establishing a state parkway conservancy is accurate on the benefits, and sentiments, it fails to mention (while noting the homeless camping problem) the inability of the current Parkway manager—Sacramento County Parks—to effectively address illegal camping.
While we certainly wish all the best in the pursuit of new governance and new funds for the Parkway, relying on the same management—as the legislation does—does not give us much confidence.
An excerpt from the Bee article.
In the Legislature’s final push, one bill that deserves attention is Assembly Bill 1716, the Lower American River Conservancy Act.
Authored by Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, a Sacramento Democrat, the bill would let the American River Parkway compete for funding through future bonds, money not available through limited state allocations and a stretched county budget.
The parkway is a jewel of the region. In addition to recreational activities, the parkway provides natural habitat, flood control and a nature-friendly transportation artery. Yet there is significant room to extend the parkway’s benefits to more residents.
While private funding and foundations offer amenities on the eastern and central sections of the parkway, it changes character downriver. The challenge of the homeless is well-documented, and the western section lacks destinations to attract visitors. Given the proximity to midtown Sacramento and Del Rio, nature centers, interpretive trail systems or play areas for children would dramatically improve the parkway’s benefits. By carefully establishing these improvements, we can also preserve the parkway’s natural settings.
As stewards and benefactors of this amazing local resource, we should no longer accept two distinct areas of the parkway.