While it is admirable that volunteers are willing to go into the Parkway and clean up abandoned camps of the homeless illegal campers—as reported by the Sacramento Bee, it is tragic that there is such large-scale illegal camping that volunteers have to be called in to clean up.
As with many social problems, the solution is to work on the front end, rather than the back end.
In this case that would be enforcing the laws against illegal camping in the Parkway—and strong advocacy from Parkway advocacy organizations, other than ARPPS, to do so has not been forthcoming over the past 25 years—rather than cleaning up after illegal campers.
“Dozens of volunteers organized by the American River Parkway Foundation are out working to clean up abandoned homeless encampments along the river this morning.
“The foundation, dedicated to fostering stewardship of the river, is conducting the cleanup from mile 1 to mile 3 on the parkway, in the Northgate area, "to make sure that families and neighbors can come to this area," according to Dianna Poggetto, executive director of the group.
“More than 30 volunteers were conducting the cleanup from 9 a.m. to noon.
“In many cases, the repeated shifting of camps has resulted in debris left behind that may get into the water supply, Poggetto said.
“In addition, some people have been cutting vegetation for fires.”