Thursday, June 26, 2008

Farming & Camping in the Parkway

1) The Soil Born Farm in the Parkway, reported on by the Bee, is an excellent use of Parkway land, but illegally camping is not.

2) The recent legal decision in Fresno that awards a settlement to homeless campers, illegally camping in public, for the destruction of their personal property that occurred during police sweeps to remove their campsites, will hopefully lead to a more humane way of dealing with their personal possessions already adopted by many locales, who provide warnings in advance of sweeps, and storage for personal items taken during sweeps for later recovery by the homeless.

It is crucial to remember that ensuring the communities adjacent to the North Sacramento, Midtown and Downtown areas of the Parkway (most used by the homeless for illegal campgrounds) the ability to safely use their part of the Parkway is not a permission to treat the already suffering homeless more cruelly than they are already living, though often through their own choice.

We can do both, ensure the communities adjacent to the Parkway can use it safely, and move the chronic homeless—who make up the majority of Parkway campers—into Housing First programs and out of illegally camping in the Parkway.

We have provided some ideas for this in our research report from 2005, The American River Parkway Lower Reach Area: A Corroded Crown Jewel; Restoring the Luster. A Conceptual and Policy Primer, (pages 25-42)