Cleaning up After the Homeless

It’s a slog, as this article from the Sacramento Bee reports, and the garbage picked up from the Woodlake/Cal Expo area of the American River Parkway far outweighs what this article reports was picked up along the Sacramento River.

An excerpt.

A heap of soiled clothes. Several bike wheels. A shopping cart. A refrigerator door. A torn, faded purple suitcase. Syringes.

“A lot of human feces,” offered 16-year-old Delaney Roybal as her fellow YMCA Youth in Government members murmured in agreement.

Those were among the items collected by about 75 volunteers who descended on a stretch of the Sacramento River in West Sacramento on Saturday, joining a California Coastal Cleanup Day effort that included five Delta counties.

The turnout marked a significant improvement over last year, when only a few people showed up. Cub Scouts, teenagers, senior citizens and at least one father with a baby strapped to his back joined the effort.

They hauled some 1,800 pounds out of the stretch of river flowing between the Tower Bridge and the Pioneer Bridge, one piece of a statewide effort encompassing hundreds of sites that yielded at least 278 tons of waste.

“Most people don’t realize how much pollution is in the water,” said Yolo County Supervisor Oscar Villegas, who joined the effort.

In the weeks leading up to the cleanup, Villegas said, officials reached out to three homeless people living in two encampments along the slice of river where the cleanup was to take place. Two ended up taking advantage of county services, he said.

About David H Lukenbill

I am a native of Sacramento, as are my wife and daughter. I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of San Francisco. We live along the American River with two cats and all the wild critters we can feed. I am the founding president of the American River Parkway Preservation Society and currently serve as the CFO and Senior Policy Director. I also volunteer as the President of The Lampstand Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2003.
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