“The American River Parkway is a true treasure in the landscape of Sacramento. The parkway is a 23 mile, 4,600-acre expanse of land, water and nature. Our forefathers were smart in wanting to protect this wonderful resource hence creating a regional park.” American River Parkway Foundation
I was in Sacramento last week and decided to go for a hike on the American River Parkway. It wasn’t my first. If you count the years it was my primary bike route into town, I estimate I’ve been out on the parkway at least 2000 times. Beyond biking, the parkway served as my escape to the woods when I needed a quick break from the city, which was often. So I know a bit about it.
Drought and tight government budgets had taken their toll on the parkway, but it was still beautiful and crowded with visitors. (Some five million people use the parkway annually, which is as many who stop off at the Grand Canyon.)
I wandered along and happily visited my old haunts– first checking out William Pond Park and then hiking across the Harold Richey Memorial Bridge to River Bend Park. I once had a five-mile route that wound through the two parks. This time I kept it to three.
I decided the Parkway would make a good post. Photos weren’t an issue. In fact, I have too many. I’d carried a camera on many of my outings during the 2000’s before Peggy and I took off on our three-year road trip in 2007. Most of the photos on this post are from that time period.
Since I have been out of touch with the parkway for several years, I jumped online to do some research. That’s where I came across the above quote from the American River Parkway Foundation. The Foundation is a good organization, and I was happy to steal its quote, but I got a little hung up over the use of forefathers. Like I know what forefathers are– they are old, really old, like Mayflower old. I think you have to be dead to qualify.
And I was around when much of the parkway was being developed. In 1970 I served as the first Executive Director of Sacramento’s Ecology Information Center. I then went on to co-found the Environmental Council of Sacramento and, along with Bruce Kennedy, create an organization that supported local candidates based on their environmental stands. Each of these organizations provided strong support for the parkway, which put me in regular contact with the ‘forefathers,’ and brings me to the case in point. I may be older than your average John Doe, but I am not Mayflower old, or dead, for that matter.
I am just kidding about the forefather bit, of course, having some fun at the expense of the Foundation. Like I said, they are good kids. They should add foremothers to their list, however. In my next blog, I’ll talk more about the importance of the parkway to Sacramento and about the organizations that support it. But now it’s time to head out to the park.
NEXT BOG: A continuing look at the parkway with a focus on flowers. The California Poppy below is to serve as an introduction– and to wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day.