Del Paso Regional Park sits alongside Auburn Blvd. from just east of Watt to where Auburn Blvd. bridges over Arcade Creek at Winding Way. Did you know it was part of the City of Sacramento? The long, narrow strip of land was annexed by the City of Sacramento in the early 1960's as part of the city's expansion north of the American River - at about the same time as it gobbled up the former City of North Sacramento. Since then, old North Sac has been neglected and allowed to deteriorate. A similar fate has fallen on the park lands, which are far away from the residents of the city. That neglect has manifested itself recently due to the demise of Renfree Field and the establishment of the old Science Center as a homeless shelter. The city buses homeless people to the facility and releases them into our community every day because the shelter is not a 24-hour operation. That has stimulated the use of the park for illegal homeless encampments.
Now there is a group of people trying to fix the situation. Their solution is to get the City of Sacramento out of the picture. The city, they say, has caused the demise of the property and that has led to adverse impacts on the neighboring unincorporated area. They point our that the park has a long history of little maintenance and no program investment. It is an 80 acre piece of property- a public asset- that for decades has been ignored and unmaintained by the City of Sacramento. It's remote location from the city means it is “a park too far” from those who control it. They want the County to take over the park and create active and passive recreation opportunities for the surrounding neighborhoods. And they are asking people to show up at the Board of Supervisors' meeting on March 28th at 9:30am to request the Supervisors to get on with it. They make a very good point - as long as people here are quiet about issues that hurt community, it sends the message to all involved that we have accepted the status quo of a neglect and things will continue on just the same. Will their request result in removing this thorn in our community's side? One can certainly hope so.