We had a great day Saturday October 2nd. 25 people including park staff got sooo much done I can’t believe it. We cleaned more area than I could ever have dreamed of. We cleaned 2 of the biggest messes in the whole mile I have committed to cleaning up. Save the American River Association (SARA) came thru at the end with a few extra volunteers. The longtime camper was inspired to clean his camp that day. We left him with some bags and told him he could add to our huge pile. It is good to make contact with a friendly camper. The unknown is scary. In my adopted mile there two other camps that I know of. They are down by the island near our last big group cleanup. I will be focusing on that area next. Thank you everyone for your support A real big shout out to Facebook group “Sacramento Picks It Up!” Lots of real hardworking experienced volunteers. What dedication. Remember this group, they are working miracles all over Sacramento. Sunday we are cleaning the Tower Bridge water front. I plan another cleanup in two weeks to finish the areas after the bobcat picks up the piles. (See below for updates on upcoming cleanups)
Heads up! On Oct 16 I will be teaming up with Facebook group “Sacramento Picks It Up”, "Friends of Sutter’s Landing" and the American River Parkway Foundation (ARPF) for my next cleanup. We will be doing it right this time and filing waivers, and trash reports. We will be in the same location cleaning up after the bobcats in our last location, and new areas nearby. I think I will be able to get permission to drive close to the cleanup site like last time.
To date I am responsible for removing over 10 TONS of trash from the Woodlake area this summer. The area is so beautiful without all the trash. WE CAN GET THIS DONE THIS YEAR. With your help.
“Sacramento Picks It Up” will also be doing Tower Bridge 3.0 Cleanup on Oct 30. The Coastal Cleanup asked for our help on cleanup day. We went back last week for 2.0 last Sunday after our BIG Woodlake cleanup Saturday.
The GARCU on September 18th 2021 was a great success in part because of Betsy’s hard work in organizing everyone to get to SLP early before all the guests came to enjoy a wonderful day on the beach. There was not one cigarette butt, bottle cap or dog remains on the beach! Great job everyone. (Be sure to look at the "Before & After Photos at the bottom of this post!)
When I arrived, Jesus was hard at work with the Power Washer and Betsy was hard at it scrubbing stubborn dirt and stains:
Betsy informed me a small group of ladies just left to go into the City Corp Yard to pick up trash. When I arrived there (my first time being in the yard) I could not believe the amount of trash near the fence.
Per Betsy: Special thanks to Our "Corp Yard Trash Busters" who are: Kathleen, Alicia, Bea, Deborah and Paul. Their willingness and hard work are the reason FOSL is considering taking on this many weeks long effort. Thanks again!
The group worked very hard to pick up as much as they could:
By the time I was ready to leave, I was amazed at how much better this area looked!!
Thank you everyone for all your hard work!! Additional photos of the before and after look at this location have been added below.
Cranes overhead are often heard before seen... Photo by Robert Sewell
Sandhill Cranes will be winging their way south soon from breeding and nesting ranges up north as far away as Alaska. In fact the first crane of 2021 was recently reported in the delta. Most cranes will winter south of our area but there are good public areas nearby to view them and it is always a treat to hear and hopefully see them as they soar overhead back to their winter home. It's not uncommon to find them in flight over SLP. In these pandemic times of rapidly changing climate it is good for the soul to witness these timeless and magnificent birds. ------- Link to an audio file of Sandhill cranes in flight over Sherman Island ------- Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, crane events will likely need to be celebrated virtually this year. For updates and details on the many planned tours and other events be sure to check out "Save Our Sandhill Cranes" and the Lodi Crane Festival later this year. There are also many opportunities to volunteer in education, outreach and conservation efforts that are ongoing.
Our Only Hope by Bruce Forman
Cranes returning to the valley their sphere of influence constricted by vineyards and villains of mass destruction converting marshes and cornfields to tracts of streets dripping with oil and greed shutting out the flocks with curtains and glass turning away the trumpets of nature to some distant shrinking field a token of heritage whose ability to touch, to mesmerize, to provoke is our only hope to save our last wilderness
Lesser Sandhill Cranes visiting a refuge. Photo by Rick Lewis
Trash collected around native grasses restoration site at SLP
Last Saturday was a very productive clean up day at Sutter's Landing. Kathleen came out - even though she was leaving for Hawaii the next day - to begin the "landscaping" around the elderberry and oaks near the life vest station. As she cleared the invasive, dried grasses around the elderberry she discovered that we have a real granddaddy right at the entrance to the beach area. We will finish getting the area cleaned up and share some pictures with everyone. Better yet, come out and help uncover this spectacular elderberry specimen. And for everyone's information, we always work with Sacramento City Parks and Sacramento County Regional Parks before we undertake any projects, especially if they involve the River and Parkway's natural resources. All of our work is "permitted" before we begin. That's important.
While Kathleen was busy with the weed removal, Catherine, Mark, Tom, Elisa, and Kathy scoured the entire one mile for trash. Elisa focused on scooping up the burned wood and charcoal briquets from the beach. Everyone went to war on the dog poop, cigarette butts and bottle caps. Robert came out to take pictures. Mark is on land but more often on the water loading his watercraft with mounds of garbage from across the River and off the island.
And Sunday, August 8th, proved to be a successful alternative beautification effort to Saturday. Deborah and Paul came out and spent a couple of hours cleaning up the remnants left by Saturday's visitors to the River. Deborah and Paul are always willing to head down the bike trail and hiking trail as far as the railroad bridge to make sure these areas that are out of sight stay trash free. I stayed a little longer to take one final pass along the beach checking for illegal barbeques, and I heard from everyone how much they appreciate the clean and safe beach. I heard, more than once, that SLP has never looked better. And it hasn't. Everyone should be very proud of what we have accomplished over the past year.
If you are unable to join us as often as you would like, please use FOSL's social media to stay connected and inspired. You can follow us on Twitter @FOSLPark and Instagram @friendsofsutterslandingpark. If you include #sutterslandingpark and #americanriverparkway because you would like to share photos and other information it will help promote the area's nature and recreation. You can also reach us via email at email@example.com and sarariverwatch.org.
See you tomorrow, Saturday, August 14th and/or Sunday, August 15th at 8:00 a.m. for another opportunity to keep SLP beautiful.
We started at 8:00 a.m. last Saturday and were done by 10:00 a.m. thanks to Kathy, Elisa, Mark, Sean, Robert, and Caroline who grabbed garbage bags and scattered downriver, to the beach, and onto the hiking trail, as well as walked the levees to pick up trash, empty garbage cans and get things looking good by the time the visitors arrived. There was a little excitement as our resident coyote left the mound and came down to wander on the levees and bike trail - he was totally unconcerned that he had an audience watching his every move. Kathy came back from the hiking trail to report a friendly encounter with a rattlesnake (his rattle was about 2 inches long). She said they reached a mutual agreement that she should just leave the trash she was reaching for, and move along. Not a problem, she said.
For my part, I felt like it was Christmas in June at SLP. When I arrived, the City Parks' staff was hard at work power washing the Gateway Garden's cement, asphalt and monuments! It took him about 3 and one half hours to get the job done, and and what a great job he did. What a difference!
SLP has porta potties now - there are two regular and one handicapped. Yea! Thank you, again, City Parks, for making this happen - they are badly needed.
Most of all, I want to give a special thank you to Kathleen and Elisa for working on getting the grapevine out of the elderberry this week. The star, though, we all agree, is Steve who took on the job of removing the tangle of very old, thick and tangled grapevine on the interior of the elderberry. The job was tough and time consuming, and saved the vine removal crew a big headache. We are going to open up the elderberry, clean up the ground, weed whip the dried grasses and hopefully create a nice space for people to gather - the shade from the grand valley oaks along with the elderberry is pure pleasure on a hot day.
And very important are the volunteers who go over on Sunday to clean up the trash left behind by the late beach crowd the night before. Thank you to Kathleen and Tom for working on Sunday - Tom is continuing to work on the star thistle in the restoration site. Elisa checked out the beach area on Monday and we do have a trash problem from the Sunday visitors. Mark keeps SLP trash free through the week. I know we have other volunteers who make a point of picking up trash when they go over to walk or enjoy the water. Keep us posted on your experience and observations.
We are going to work again this Saturday. We beat the heat last Saturday by starting at 8:00 a.m, and we will start again at 8:00 a.m. this coming Saturday, 6/26. We need to pick up trash, weed the Gateway Garden, and continue working on carefully pulling the grapevine out of the elderberry.
I hope everyone is enjoying working at SLP as much as I am. Our volunteers are the best.
Be well and safe.
Thank you for all of your help,
------------ Preliminary info follows from the 6/26 clean-up. The trash generated at SLP every weekend is jaw dropping. And think - we have a lot of people who are now picking up their trash and actually throwing it away, and we still end up with garbage strewn around. At 4:00 p.m. yesterday Tom and Jesus spent two and a half hours in the heat cleaning up and loading the brush piles! Families and those coming to "party" were still coming from 4-6 PM and as late as 9 PM and beyond. There has already been impressive follow-up work the next day including collecting a raft full of trash from across the river by Jax and owner over 6 hours! Many thanks to all participants. “Every day is clean up day!!!”
Photos by Kathleen unless otherwise noted.
No piles of cut brush remain under oaks and elderberries!!!
“Every day is clean up day!!!”
All but two of the life vests were left at the beach –until retrieved and returned here.
6 person raft filled with trash from across the river! Photo by Mark
Happy Birthday Jax and goodbye to several hundred pounds of trash! Photo by Mark.
It's been a rough start to fire "season" in the lower American River Parkway. Fire is a natural event here as in many areas but dry conditions and human carelessness have greatly increased the risk of fire. The frequency and intensity of many of the fires that burn now increase threats to wildlife and lead to habitat loss that is difficult to recover. Cooking fires, BBQs, camp fires, fireworks and similar human activities in the Parkway are not legal in most locations. If you see a fire burning or someone doing something that could quickly lead to a fire you can make a 911 call. Unfortunately, the fire departments are no stranger to responding to the many grass and other vegetation fires that seem to occur now on a daily basis. A few photos from recent fires in the area follow. Unfortunately, there will be many more soon.
The 2021 Earth Day Clean Up at SLP was a huge success!
Thanks in part to Wes Samms and his awesome crew who provided us with all the necessary supplies to get the job done (Wes and his group are in the first set of photos) and to Betsy Weiland of Save the American River Association (SARA) for her unwavering support, dedication, guidance and leadership related to our Sacramento gateway to the American River Parkway!
We also owe a big Thank You to many others including employees of Amazon and Callendar Associates for taking the time to come out and pick up trash along the beach, walking trails, the dog park and in the bushes and trees!!! This clean up could not have been as successful without everybody's help!
BIG Thanks and appreciation to everyone! (photos by Kathy)
Betsy taking care of weeds once again!
We owe a BIG Thank You to Steve Kayner and Robert Sewell for removing some very heavy remains of an encampment that has since been abandoned off the west side of the trail near the river!
Employees of Amazon and Callendar Associates came out to pick up trash along the beach, walking trails, dog park and the bushes and trees
Awesome crew came out to clean up SLP
The following pictures show the reason this Clean Up is so important. We need to protect all our natural resources at SLP and all along our Parkway.
2020 was the year many Sacramentans and residents of other cities discovered Sutter’s Landing Regional Park. During the summer, new visitors flocked to the beach, double and triple over past years. They came from as far away as the East Bay and Napa and Sonoma counties to escape the wildfire smoke. Like local families, they brought their children to the Landing for its sandy beaches sloping gently into the shallow, slow-moving river. People came to swim and sunbathe, and stand up on paddle boards.
There was a downside to the summer crowds, though. So many new visitors stressed the landscape. Some added to the impact by cutting new paths or trees for illegal fires, letting their dogs run unchecked, or leaving trash on the beach.
In response, members of Friends of Sutter’s Landing (FOSL), Save the American River Association, and neighborhood volunteers decided to lead by example. Beginning on July 3, they turned out with trash pickers and buckets, and handed out litter bags to visitors. It was clear that this would not be a one -time event. There was too much to do.
Sutter’s Landing was so popular it was necessary to walk the parking lot and beach daily to keep them picked up. FOSL also reached out to Sacramento County and Sacramento City Parks for support. Quickly, the City replaced a cluttered group of trash cans with a larger trailer of sufficient capacity.
Sacramento County Rangers assigned a liaison to coordinate with the FOSL team and respond to its 311 app reports in the Parkway. And the City allowed our volunteers to assist with weeding the raised bed planters, restoration sites, and Park grounds.
To enlist more of the public and to inform, we created a flier listing the non-emergency telephone numbers for the city and county along with their 311 app addresses. Everyone we engaged received a copy and encouragement to get involved by reporting issues and concerns.
There were unexpected benefits as well. Volunteers who tend the same stretch of parkway regularly not only become familiar with it, but they also interact more with other visitors building community. When you actively care for the Parkway, strangers will approach you.
It all worked. Gradually, river goers took more care during their visits. And a hidden cadre of longtime beach lovers quietly continued what they had always done, packing out more than they brought in. What we began in early summer continues. When we show up, others notice and recognize that taking care of our Parkway is a gift we give to each other.
Thanks to the combined efforts of all, Sutter’s Landing is on the mend. It will always need our care and protection. There is restoration to be done, scarred trails to heal, and new trees and shrubs to plant. But, for now, it is a safe and peaceful place to enjoy nature and paddle serenely on the river.
Great news to report regarding Sutter’s Landing Park!
On Tuesday night, January 19th 2021, the Sacramento City Council unanimously approved the acquisition of the Blue Diamond property as an addition to Sutter’s Landing Park. The City will use the $1.6 million Proposition 68 grant the City received from the Wildlife Conservation Board’s (WCB) Lower American River Conservancy to purchase this property.
Your active support for funding this acquisition was critical! Thank you! WCB received more support for letters for the Sutter’s Landing Park acquisition project than any other project that it considered under the Lower American River Conservancy program (your letters and letters from Mr. McDaniel’s students at Washington Elementary School are part of the grant official records!).
The City also reached agreement with the Sacramento Municipal Utilities District (SMUD) to secure the adjacent property that SMUD owns immediately to the west of the Blue Diamond property. SMUD has built its new Substation B electrical transfer station on the southern portion of its property and will soon be dismantling the old transfer station infrastructure (the power lines will remain). SMUD will transfer to the City the portion of its property that sits to the northeast of Substation B and continues to the middle of the Lower American River.
Together, these properties will add about 30 acres to Sutter’s Landing Park providing for wildlife habitat protection (and hopefully restoration) and the possibility of hiking trails and the extension of the Two Rivers Trail westward just about to the Northern Sacramento Bikeway.
Before the City actually takes title to the two properties, Blue Diamond and SMUD must complete remediation of their respective properties which could take 12-18 months. This should provide time for the City to plan how best to use the park expansion properties.