American River Parkway Preservation Society
American River Parkway Preservation Society
American River Parkway Preservation Society

The American River Parkway Preservation Society is a 501 (c)(3) Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation founded in 2003 in Sacramento, California. Federal ID# 20-0238035.


American River Parkway Preservation Society


Our Strategy

Preserve, Protect & Strengthen the
American River Parkway
For As Long As The River Runs Through It
2009 – 2014


I- Introduction
II- Five Critical Issues & Guiding Principles
III- Strategic Summary
IV- Implementation Summary
V- Example: American River Parkway Joint Powers Agreement
VI- Example: American River Parkway Joint Powers Authority Community Advisory Committee Membership

I- Introduction

The leadership in our community has a responsibility to create a vision that preserves, protects, and strengthens the American River Parkway in perpetuity. Since our founding in 2003, our first five years have been invested in pursuing a strategy of organizational capacity building, and conducting research in the practical approaches—emanating from our guiding principles—we’ve determined best address the critical issues impacting the Parkway, and communicating with our members and the public those results.

This period resulted in the creation of our first strategic plan—designed to guide our work from 2004 to 2009—a stable membership base of about 700, designation of an annual Parkway Advocate (five individuals were acknowledged), and regular communications (letters, articles, daily blogging, monthly e-letters, quarterly newsletters, annual organizational reports, and research reports covering each of the five critical issues we’ve identified, and periodic planning position papers).

II- Five Critical Issues &
Corresponding Guiding Principles

1) Continuing depletion of public funding to provide vital ongoing maintenance, facility repair, law enforcement presence, invasive plant management, and fully restore a sense of safety for those using our priceless public resource.
Our Guiding Principle: Preserving the Parkway is not an option, it’s a necessity.
2) Continuing pressure on the river, whether through flooding, illegal sewage discharge, or taking water for new development, hurts the salmon and other aquatic life.
Our Guiding Principle: What’s good for the salmon is good for the river.
3) Continuing habitat devastation, fires, and pollution from widespread illegal camping by the homeless, primarily in the North Sacramento and Midtown area of the Parkway.

Our Guiding Principle: Regarding illegal camping by the homeless in the North Sacramento and Midtown area of the Parkway:  Social and environmental justice calls upon us to help the poor and distressed person but not at the expense of the adjacent community to visit the Parkway safely.
4) Continuing development pressure to build large homes along the Parkway edges, intruding on the view space, and encroaching into the commons.

Our Guiding Principle: If it can be seen from the Parkway, it shouldn’t be built along the Parkway.

5) Continuing exclusion of responsible usage by new Parkway user groups is contrary to the spirit upon which public ownership of a natural resource is predicated.
Our Guiding Principle: Regarding new Parkway usages: Inclusion should be the operating principle rather than exclusion.

III- Strategic Summary

We will be investing the next five years in two directions; one major, the other ongoing.
Our major work will focus around encouraging local government to implement the one idea from our research into practical approaches that can most significantly impact all five of the major critical issues, which is the creation of a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) to govern the Parkway.
Our ongoing work will focus on continuing to help build a community knowledge base around the results of our five research reports, buttressed by new information as it becomes available. The American River Parkway is the most valuable natural resource in our community and one of the most valuable in the nation.
Because of this singular nature, it has the potential to be governed through a singular process—a JPA—as other signature park areas in the country are governed.
This type of governance will give our Parkway the dedicated management and fund raising capability—particularly if the JPA eventually contracts with a nonprofit organization for management and fund raising—that are so necessary to retain and enhance its premier local and national status.

IV- Implementation Summary

To help create an environment where the JPA policy concept we have presented becomes accepted public policy, it is important to provide information about successful uses of the concept to the public and public leadership through the following venues.
Public Information

·        Daily blogging: The Parkway Blog at <> is part of the ongoing work of ARPPS’ public education and advocacy around public policy issues that may be related to the Parkway and the adjacent communities along the American River. (365 blog postings annually)
·        Daily letters to members of the public: We will be sending information to members of the public concerning the advisability of creating a JPA to govern the Parkway. (1,100 letters annually)
·        Monthly e-letters to membership and public leadership: We will continue the monthly e letters, with a focus, when possible, on JPA governance. (12 e-letters annually)
·        Quarterly newsletters to membership and public leadership: We will continue the quarterly newsletters with a focus, when possible, on JPA governance. (4 newsletters annually)
·        Regular letters to the editor: We will seek opportunities to send letters that focus on JPA governance. (4-10 letters to the editors of local publications annually)
·        Occasional articles in local publications: We will seek to have articles published that look at governance by a JPA as a viable option for the Parkway. (1-3 articles submitted annually)
·        Occasional policy planning papers: We will, when possible, cover the viability of Parkway governance by a JPA. (1-3 annually)
·        Organizational report: We will continue with the established format encompassing all of the work of the organization for the year. (1 report annually)

Public Forums
·        Regular forums around Parkway issues: We will seek opportunities to conduct public forums around the issue of JPA governance. (1-2 public forums annually)
·        Presentations to local business and neighborhood organizations: We will seek the opportunity to present information about JPA governance. (1-2 presentations annually)
Public Leadership

·        Meetings with public leadership: We will meet with public leadership to discuss the option of JPA governance. (4-6 meetings annually)

Study Mission
·        We will advocate for a study mission to the San Dieguito River Park in San Diego, an excellent model of a park along a river that is governed by a JPA.

Review & Update

This plan is subject to annual review and updating every five years.

V- Example: American River Parkway
Joint Powers Agreement

THIS AGREEMENT is hereby made by and between the COUNTY OF SACRAMENTO, a political subdivision of the State of California, and the cities of FOLSOM, RANCHO CORDOVA, and SACRAMENTO municipal corporations, which shall individually or collectively be referred to as "Public Agencies".


A. Public Agencies are each empowered, pursuant to California Government Code Section XXXX, to exercise their common powers jointly by agreement, including the powers to acquire and hold property, to undertake overall planning for and to plan and design public facilities and appurtenances for park purposes, and to develop, operate and maintain parks.
B. Public Agencies agree that it is their goal to preserve and enhance the American River Parkway (hereinafter referred to as "Parkway") for the benefit of the public.
C. Public Agencies agree that a local agency shall be created to provide a coordinated program for the additional land acquisition, planning, design, plan implementation, operation and maintenance of the Parkway and such other activities related thereto as determined by this Joint Powers Authority to be appropriate.
NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the recitals and mutual obligations of the Public Agencies as herein expressed, the Public Agencies agree as follows:
1. PURPOSE. This agreement is made pursuant to the provisions of Article X, Chapter X, Division X, Title X of the Government Code of the State of California (commencing with Section XXXX), relating to the joint exercise of powers common to public agencies. Public Agencies each possess the powers referred to in the recitals hereof. The purpose of this agreement is to exercise those powers jointly to acquire additional land, plan, design, improve, manage, operate and maintain the American River Parkway, as amended in accordance with the terms of this agreement, which is hereby incorporated by reference as if fully set forth herein. Such purposes are to be accomplished and said common power exercised in the manner hereinafter set forth. The goals of the Public Agencies are to exercise such powers in order to:
(a) Preserve land within the focused planning area of the American River Parkway as a regional open space greenbelt and park system that protects the natural waterways and the natural and cultural resources and sensitive lands, and provides compatible recreational opportunities that do not damage sensitive lands.
(b) Provide a continuous and coordinated system of preserved lands with a connecting corridor of walking, equestrian, bicycle trails, picnic areas, golf courses, nature centers, camping grounds, and other recreational and natural amenities determined by the Joint Powers Authority, encompassing the American River Parkway from Folsom Lake to the confluence of the American River with the Sacramento River.
2. TERM. This agreement shall become effective immediately upon approval by the last of the Public Agencies, and shall continue in full force and effect so long as any two Public Agencies agree to continue as members or for twenty-five years, which ever occurs first. At the end of the twenty-five year term, Public Agencies may act to continue this agreement in full force and effect for an additional fifty years. Public Agencies shall provide ninety days notice of intent to withdraw from the Joint Powers Authority.
3. CREATION OF INDEPENDENT AGENCY. Pursuant to Section XXXX of the California Government Code, there is hereby created a public entity known as the "American River Parkway Joint Powers Authority" herein called "Authority" and said Authority shall be an entity separate and apart from the Public Agencies.
4. BOUNDARIES. The boundaries of the territory within which Authority shall exercise its powers shall be those described in XXXXX. Said boundaries may be amended by Authority subject to concurrence by the Public Agencies within whose jurisdiction the proposed boundary change lies.
5. BOARD. Authority shall be governed by a board to be known as the "American River Parkway Board (hereinafter called "Board"). Each member shall serve in his/her individual capacity as a member of the Board. The membership of the Board shall be as follows:
(a) Two (2) elected members of the governing bodies of the County of Sacramento and the City of Sacramento appointed by their respective, governmental bodies.
(b) One (1) elected member of the City Councils of the cities of Folsom and Rancho Cordova appointed by their respective councils.
(c) The Chairperson of the American River Parkway Citizens Advisory Committee. The elected members shall serve at the pleasure of their appointing authority. Each member shall have an alternate which may act in his/her absence. Alternates shall be chosen in the same manner as regular members except that the alternate to the Chairperson of the American River Parkway Citizens Advisory Committee shall be the Vice Chair-person of that Committee. Any vacancy shall be filled in the same manner as described herein for appointment. The Board shall select its own Chairperson and Vice Chairperson from among the members.
(a) Regular Meeting. The Board shall conduct regular meetings at least annually and such other times as the Board shall direct or the bylaws specify.
(b) Ralph M. Brown Act. All meetings of the Board, including, without limitation, regular, adjourned regular, and special meetings shall be called, noticed, held, and conducted in accordance with the provisions of the Ralph M. Brown Act (commencing with Section 54950 of the California Government Code).
(c) Quorum. A majority of Board members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, except that less than a quorum may adjourn from time to time. The affirmative vote of at least a majority of the members available in the quorum shall be required for any act of the Board other than adjournment.
7. RULES OF THE BOARD. The Board may adopt, from time to time, bylaws, rules, and regulations as may be required for the conduct of its meetings and the orderly operation of Authority; and copies and amendments thereto shall be filed with the Public Agencies.
8. STANDING COMMITTEE. The Board shall appoint a standing committee to be known as the American River Parkway Citizens Advisory Committee which shall be advisory to the Board. The Committee shall have a Chairperson selected by the Board and a Vice Chairperson selected by the Committee subject to the concurrence of the Board.
(a) Staff. The Public Agencies and the Sacramento Area Council of Governments will staff Authority, until such time as Authority acts to hire or appoint permanent staff.
(b) Executive Director. The Board may appoint an Executive Director who shall have such duties as prescribed by the Board.
(c) Treasurer. The Treasurer of the Authority shall be the duly appointed and active Treasurer of the County of Sacramento serving ex-officio as Treasurer of Authority. The Treasurer shall receive, have the custody of and disburse funds upon the warrant or check warrant of Auditor pursuant to the accounting procedures set forth in Section 15 hereof, and shall make the disbursements required by this agreement or to carry out any of the provisions or purposes of this agreement. The Treasurer may invest Authority funds in accordance with general law. All interest collected on Authority funds shall be accounted for and posted to the account of such funds.
(d) Auditor. The Auditor of the Authority shall be the duly appointed and acting Auditor of the County of Sacramento serving ex-officio as Auditor of Authority. The Auditor shall draw warrants or check-warrants against the funds of Authority in the Treasury when the demands are approved by the Board, or such other persons as may be specifically designated for that purpose. Any fees paid to Auditor for performance of said services shall not be greater than those normally paid by other entities receiving similar services.
(e) Experts and Other Employees. Authority may employ such other officers, employees, consultants, advisors, and independent contractors as it may determine necessary.
(f) Authority shall cause such of its officers and employees to be bonded as required by Auditor.
10. POWERS OF AUTHORITY. Authority shall have the powers:
(a) To acquire, hold and dispose of property by any legal method for Parkway purposes, to undertake overall planning for and to plan and design the Parkway, and to take any and all actions necessary to accomplish these powers. Decisions by Authority to acquire or dispose of real property shall be subject to prior approval of the Public Agencies wherein the property to be acquired or disposed of lies. Prior to acquisition or disposal of real property within the Parkway by Public Agencies, they shall refer the proposed transaction to Authority for review and recommendation. However, failure of a Public Agency to so refer a transaction shall not affect its validity.
(b) To establish guidelines for and advise Public Agencies on appropriate land uses within the Parkway.
(c) To review and comment on development proposals submitted to Public Agencies which are within or have an impact on the Parkway.
(d) To improve, manage, operate and maintain the Parkway.
(e) To make and enter into contracts and agreements to carry out its activities.
(f) To employ agents and employees.
(g) To sue and be sued in its own name.
(h) Pursuant to California Government Code Section XXXX, the powers of Authority shall be subject to those legal restrictions which the County of Sacramento has upon the manner of exercising said power.
11. OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE. Authority shall provide for operation and maintenance of the Parkway. For an initial period, as determined by Authority, Authority shall contract with the County of Sacramento through Regional Parks to operate and maintain the Parkway. Authority shall audit and evaluate County's performance after said initial period and as necessary to determine whether the County should continue to perform this function.
12. CONDITIONAL POWERS. Subject to unanimous agreement of Public Agencies, Authority shall have the power to issue bonds and levy assessments under any assessment district act or impact fee provisions authorized by State law.
13. "BUDGET. Authority shall prepare and adopt an annual budget prior to the beginning of each fiscal year. The "fiscal year" for Authority shall be coterminous with that of the County.
(a) Authority shall fund its activities by funds which are available to Authority to carry out its activities.
(b) Authority is empowered to make applications for and receive grants from governmental or private sources for its activities.
(c) Public Agencies may, but shall not be required to contribute money, office space, furnishings, equipment, supplies, or services as may be necessary.
(d) Authority may receive gifts, donations, bequests and devises of all kinds and descriptions, and perform any and all legal acts in regard thereto as may be necessary or advisable to advance the objects and purposes of the Authority and to apply the principal and interest of such gifts, donations, bequests and devises as may be directed by the donor, or as the Board of the Authority may determine in the absence of such direction.
(e) Authority may collect and expend revenues generated from Parkway operations and activities.
15. FUNDS DEPOSITED IN COUNTY TREASURY. The Treasury of County shall be the depository of the funds of Authority and the Treasurer shall receive and have custody of Authority funds.
(a) Authority shall be strictly accountable for all funds.
(b) Authority shall cause to be kept proper books of records and accounts in which a complete and detailed entry shall be made of all its transactions, including all receipts and disbursements. Accounting systems shall be established and maintained consistent with State laws and rules and regulations of the State Controller as required by Auditor. Said books shall be subject to inspection at any reasonable time by the duly authorized representatives of Public Agencies.
(c) Authority shall cause a single annual audit of the accounts and records of Authority to be performed as provided in Sections XXXX of the California Government Code. Within eight (8) months after close of each fiscal year, a financial statement for such fiscal year shall be provided to the Public Agencies.
(d) The County of Sacramento shall determine the charges, if any, to be made against Authority for the services of the Treasurer, the Auditor and other County officers and employees.
17. LIABILITY OF PARTIES. Pursuant to the Authority of Section XXXX of the California Government Code, the debts, liabilities, or obligations, of Authority shall be solely the debts, liabilities and obligations of Authority and not the Public Agencies.
18. DISPOSITION OF ASSETS. At the termination of this agreement, all property of Authority, both real and personal, including all funds on hand, after payment of all liabilities, costs, expenses, and charges validly incurred under this agreement, shall be returned to the respective Public Agencies as nearly as possible in proportion to the contributions, if any, made by each.
19. NOTICES. Notices hereunder shall be sufficient if delivered to:
20. MISCELLANEOUS. The paragraph headings herein are for convenience only and are not to be construed as modifying or governing the language in the paragraph referred to. This agreement is made in the State of California, under the Constitution and laws of such State and is to be so construed.
21. OPERATING MEMORANDA. To preserve a reasonable degree of flexibility, many parts of this agreement are stated in general terms. It is understood that there will be operating memoranda executed and amended from time to time which may further define the rights and obligations of the parties hereto.
22. SUCCESSORS. This agreement shall be binding upon and shall inure to the benefit of the successors to the Public Agencies.
23. PARTIAL INVALIDITY. If any one or more of the terms, provisions, promises, covenants, or conditions of this agreement shall to any extent be adjudged invalid, unenforceable, void or voidable for any reason whatsoever by a court of competent jurisdiction, each and all of the remaining terms, provisions, promises, covenants, and conditions of this agreement shall not be affected thereby, and shall be valid and enforceable to the fullest extent permitted by law.
24. FILING OF NOTICE OF AGREEMENT. Within 30 days after this agreement becomes effective pursuant to paragraph 2 above, the SACOG Executive Director shall file with the Secretary of State the Notice of Agreement required by Government Code Section XXXX

VI- Example: American River Parkway Joint Powers Authority Community Advisory Committee Membership

ADA Representative

American River Natural History Association

American River Parkway Foundation

American River Parkway Preservation Society

American River Parkway Volunteer Equestrian Patrol

Buffalo Chips Running Club

Boulevard Park Neighborhood Association

Campus Commons Neighborhood Association

Carmichael Chamber of Commerce

Environmental Council of Sacramento

Fair Oaks Chamber of Commerce

Folsom Chamber of Commerce

Gardenland/Northgate Neighborhoods Association

Gold River Neighborhood Association

Hagginwood Community Association

Midtown Business Association

North Sacramento Chamber of Commerce

Point West Transportation Management Association

Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commerce

Rosemount Community Association

Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates

Sacramento Area Dog Owners Group

Sacramento Area Mountain Biking Association

Sacramento Horsemen’s Association

Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce

Save the River Association

Sierra Oaks Neighborhood Association

Sunriver Neighborhood Association

Wilhaggin Neighborhood Association

Woodlake Neighborhood Association

Property Owners

County Area (2)

Folsom Area (1)

Rancho Cordova Area (1)

Sacramento Area (2)

Joint Powers Authority Board Members
The Joint Powers Authority (JPA) Board is composed of two elected officials each from the County of Sacramento and the City of Sacramento, one elected official each from the Cities of Folsom & Rancho Cordova, and one public member representing the Citizens Advisory Committee.



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American River Parkway Preservation Society
2267 University Avenue
Sacramento, California 95825-7083
Phone: 916.225.9087

Page Updated - August 2006
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