WHEREAS, the Lower American River provides a beautiful place for Sacramento-area families to connect with nature, enjoy quality outdoor time together, and inspire children to learn about science; and
WHEREAS, the Lower American River and the American River Parkway generate about 8,000,000 visitor days per year making this resource one of the most popular recreational areas in the Sacramento region; and
WHEREAS, the Lower American River, the American River Parkway, and Sutter’s Landing Park provide vital habitat for a wide variety of wildlife including the Swainson’s Hawk (California threatened species), the White-tailed kite (species of special concern), river otters, and many other wildlife species; and
WHEREAS, there are very limited opportunities for Sacramento area residents to access the southern banks of the Lower American River or enjoy significant natural areas along the river’s southern banks within the City of Sacramento; and
WHEREAS, Sacramento area residents have rated parks, trails and recreation areas as the amenities most in need of investment and have rated large habitats for walking and hiking where interpretive and educational programs can take place as their top priority for the type of park and recreational facilities to be provided in the future; and
WHEREAS, the Governor and the California Legislature established the Lower American River Conservancy Program to assist local governments in protecting, restoring, and expanding wildlife areas and public access along the Lower American River and voters recently approved millions of dollars of state park bond funding for this purpose; and
WHEREAS, the City of Sacramento has the opportunity to establish one of California’s most significant urban riverside parks by expanding Sutter’s Landing Park to the west of the existing park when these lands become available from willing landowners and protecting and restoring existing open space areas; and
WHEREAS, expanding and improving Sutter’s Landing Park will provide Sacramento diverse population with a tremendous natural area that can readily connect children and other community members with nature in the heart of our city; and
WHEREAS, expanding Sutter’s Landing Park to the west is necessary to help fill the existing gap in the Two Rivers Trail gap between 16th Street and the current Sutter’s Landing Park; and
WHEREAS, each generation has a responsibility to leave our children and future generations with an improved environment and affordable recreational opportunities.
WHEREAS, the opportunity to place lands near Sutter’s Landing into public ownership has arisen, and should be seized;
WHEREAS, ECOS has long supported conservation of the American River Parkway and supports conserving and restoring the lands adjacent to Sutter’s Landing that are now in private ownership;
WHEREAS, it is important that the design process of the eventual public park be open and collaborative across Sacramento’s many communities;
WHEREAS, the park should have modern facilities, including adequate restrooms, and be designed to be accessible and useful for all;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Environmental Council of Sacramento respectfully urges the Mayor of Sacramento, the City Council of Sacramento, the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors, and the Wildlife Conservation Board to:
1. Make expansion, protection, restoration, and improvement of Sutter’s Landing Park a priority.
2. Support educational programs at Sutter’s Landing Park and along the American River Parkway to provide children with information about the river’s contribution to the natural and cultural history of our region.
3. Support and allocate funding to make Sutter’s Landing Park one of California’s greatest urban natural oasis providing our communities and other visitors with ready connection to nature and one of America’s most beautiful rivers.
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT ECOS will transmit this resolution to the Mayor of Sacramento, Members of the Sacramento City Council, Members of the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors, and Members and Staff of the Wildlife Conservation Board.