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


Strategic Plan

The American River Parkway Preservation Society Strategy & Implementation

Preserve, Protect & Strengthen the
American River Parkway
For As Long As The River Runs Through It
2020 – 2025


I- Introduction
II- Six Critical Issues & Guiding Principles
III- Strategic Summary
IV- Implementation Summary

I- Introduction

The leadership in our community has a responsibility to create a vision that preserves, protects and strengthens the treasured resource of the American River Parkway in perpetuity.

We have invested nineteen years–since our organization was founded in 2003–pursuing a strategy of organizational capacity building and conducting research in the practical approaches, emanating from our guiding principles, we’ve determined can address the critical issues impacting the Parkway, and communicating with our members and the public those results.

II- Six 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 area of the Parkway.

Our Guiding Principle: Regarding illegal camping by the homeless in the North Sacramento 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.

6) Continuing encasement of open space, restricting suburban community development upon which a sustainable tax base funding necessary public works is built, is contrary to sound future planning. 

Our Guiding Principle: The suburban lifestyle—as surrounds the American River Parkway—which is imbued within the aspirational center of the California Dream and whose vision is woven into the heart of the American Dream, is a deeply loved way of life whose sustainability we all desire.

Our fourth strategic plan—designed to guide our work from 2020 to 2025—includes retention of a stable membership base of about 700, designation of a parkway advocate when someone emerges (seven individuals have been acknowledged since 2004), and regular communications (letters, articles, daily blogging, monthly e-letters, quarterly newsletters, annual organizational reports and five research reports covering critical issues, and periodic planning position papers). 

All of this information is available on our website.

III- Strategic Summary

We will be investing the current five years in two directions; one major, the other ongoing.

The major work will focus around trying to encourage local government to bring into reality the one idea from our research into approaches that can most significantly impact the major critical issues—funding and management—which is the designation of a nonprofit organization to provide daily management of the Parkway, under contract with a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) consisting of Parkway adjacent governments (Cities of Sacramento, Rancho Cordova & Folsom, and Sacramento County.

The 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 that 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 nonprofit organization, 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 that are so necessary to retain and enhance its premier local and national status.

IV- Implementation Summary

To help in this process, ARPPS Former Executive Director, Kristine Lea, incorporated a nonprofit organization, the American River Parkway Conservancy (ARPC) to serve as an educational forum initially, and eventually, provide daily management for the Parkway.

The ARPC concept was presented to the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors on October 6, 2015, however the County went another direction, supporting the transfer of governing authority to a state agency, the California Wildlife Conservation Board, part of the California Department of Fish & Wildlife. 

Even with that development, to help create an environment where the nonprofit policy concept we have presented becomes accepted public policy it is important to provide information about successful adaptations of the concept to other public park areas in the nation, to the public and public leadership through the following venues.

Public Information

  • Weekdays 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 in Sacramento, California. (150-200 blog postings annually)
  • Monthly & special e-letters to membership and public leadership: We will continue the monthly e letters, with a focus, when possible, on illegal camping in the North Sacramento area of the Parkway and JPA governance. (12 - 16 annually) 
  • Quarterly newsletters to membership and public leadership: We will continue the quarterly newsletters with a focus, when possible, on ARPC management and JPA governance. (4 annually)
  • Regular letters to the editor: We will seek opportunities to send letters that focus on ARPC management and JPA governance, Auburn Dam & Illegal camping. (2-6 annually)
  • Occasional articles in local publications: We will seek to have articles published that look at governance by a JPA and ARPC as a viable option for the Parkway. (1-2 annually)
  • Occasional policy planning papers: We will, when possible, cover the viability of Parkway management by ARPC and governance by a JPA. (1-2 annually)
  • Organizational report (1 annually)

Public Forums

  • Presentations to local business and neighborhood organizations: We will seek the opportunity to present information, when appropriate, about JPA governance. (1-2 annually)
  • Meetings with public leadership: We will meet with public leadership, when appropriate, to discuss the option of JPA governance. (1-2 annually)

Review & Update

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



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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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