Grass Roots Working Group for Adequate, Stable, Long Term Funding for Our Regional Parks and Open Space System

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Progress Report #1

Public Presentation January 8, 2011: Rescue Our Regional Parks & Open Space

Email to County Executive Szalay

Final Report Of The Public Safety & Resource Protection Task Force

Trust for Public Lands (TPL) Feasibility Report, January 2011

Dangermond Group Report - State Conservancies, November 18 2010

Dangermond Report - Nonprofit Management Option, November 22, 2010

Dangermond Initial Budget Estimate Review Report

Assumed 20 Yr. Expansion/Connectivity Plan

Initial Budget Estimate for Independent Regional District

Progress Report #2 now available

Review of County Golf Enterprise and Cherry Island Soccer Complex - Summarizes business arrangements and cost information, provides conclusions, alternatives and a recommendation

Public Opinion Survey Report

Grassroots Working Group Recommendations to rescue our regional parks and open space system that serves the residents of and visitors to Sacramento County.

Grassroots Working Group Recommendations presented to the County Board of Supervisors on May 24, 2011

Grassroots Working Group Reluctantly Modifies Recommendations in an effort to promote continued consideration of the Recommendations by the County Board of Supervisors

July 26 message from the Grassroots Working Group

Voters should get say on County parks system

Grassroots Working Group Status Report, October 5, 2011

Sacramento Beed Editorial: Parkway at risk as budget cuts reduce rangers

County Executive's Regional Parks Ad Hoc Advisory Committee

Grassroots Working Group Status - SARA Annual Meeting December 3, 2011

Why was the Working Group Formed?

Sacramento County's budget crisis is threatening our Parkways, Regional Parks, and Open Spaces. Without adequate, stable, long term funding for our Regional Parks and Open Space System, our Parkways will suffer from overuse, the budget crisis will increase pressure to split up our Regional Parks and Parkways among nonprofits, cities, and local park districts and to further reduce County funding. SARA has recognized this crisis and is leading a grass roots effort to provide recommendations for securing adequate, stable funding for our Regional Parks and Open Space System. Simply put, our Parkways will not thrive unless the Regional Parks and Open Space System thrives.

This is a time of both crises and opportunity. Either we rise to the challenge of funding our Regional Parks and Open Space System or bear witness to the loss of our magnificent public Parkways and Open Space throughout the Sacramento region.


The guiding vision of the Grass Roots Working Group is an integrated system of regional parks and open space linked by a bicycle transportation network. A system that is safe, accessible, well-maintained, and provides recreational and educational opportunities to Sacramento County's diverse communities. This system will incorporate farmlands and wildlands thereby allowing the people of Sacramento to enjoy the health and welfare benefits of clean air and water, locally grown food, and abundant opportunities to walk, hike, bike, and recreate.


The Mission of the Grass Roots Working Group is to identify an appropriate structure to manage our regional parks and open space system linked by a non-motorized transportation network, coupled with a reliable funding stream that adequately provides for the operations, maintenance, and expansion of the system.

How Do I Donate?

  1. Make your Check Payable to "Save the American River Association",
  2. Write "Grass Roots Effort" on the memo line on the face of the check (This will ensure that the contribution will be directed to a restricted account limited to paying the costs of the Grass Roots Effort with first priority for paying the costs of implementing the TPL Proposal),
  3. Please write "ok" near the memo line on the face of the check if you are agreeable to being listed publicly as a supporter of the Grass Roots Effort, and
  4. Mail your check to: Save the American River Association, 4441 Auburn Blvd. Suite H Sacramento, CA 95841- 4139

Please note that SARA is a 501(c)3 organization. Tax ID: 94-2987563.

Who is the Grass Roots Working Group?

Citizen volunteer members in alphabetical order are: Lea Brooks (Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates), Rob Burness (Habitat 2020), Bill Davis (SARA), Pablo Garza (The Nature Conservancy), Gay Jones (Butterfield Riviera East Community Association), Charlea Moore (Dry Creek Parkway and Gibson Ranch Regional Park), Aimee Rutledge, (Sacramento Valley Conservancy), Warren Truitt (SARA) and Betsy Weiland (ARNHA), Charlie Willard (Pathways to Recreation), Leo Winternitz (American River Parkway Foundation with Alternates Dennis Greenbaum and Keith Coolidge). Members can be contacted via email at

Members participate [Grassroots Working Group] as individuals and not as delegates from any organization or area. Where organizations are identified, they are provided only to inform as to area of interest.

Are Working Group Meetings Public?

Grass Roots Working Group meetings are open to the public unless the Group determines a closed session is appropriate. Members of the public attend as observers and are afforded a place on the agenda to provide comments. Otherwise, members of the public should not expect to participate in Working Group deliberations unless requested to do so by the Working Group. The results of the Working Group effort is expected to be the subject of future public meetings before any final decision is made. Agendas will be made available electronically to the public at the same time that agendas are provided to Working Group members.

Is there an Advisory Committee?

The Grass Roots Working Group is actively seeking interested persons to serve on an Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee will provide a wide range of ideas and experience in all areas of conservation, recreation, business and government that will lead to a successful ballot measure in 2012 to Secure Adequate, Stable, Long Term Funding for Our Regional Parks and Open Space System.

This is your opportunity to lend your experience and review outputs from the Grass Roots Working Group, participate in discussion of these outputs, and provide input to the process for preserving these irreplaceable public assets for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations. Our existing and potential Sacramento Area Regional Parks and Open Space System is unparalleled in the entire country.

Current members of the Grassroots Advisory Committee in alphabetical order are: Dave Abbott (Sacramento Superior Court), Bob Bastian (County Parks & Rec Commission), Katie Baygell (ARNHA & ARP Equestrian Patrol), Dave Clark (American River Parkway), Maxine Clark (American River Parkway), Illa Collin (Retired County Supervisor), Justin Drake (Regional Parks), Ginger Enrico (Sun River Neighborhood), Al Freitas (American River Parkway), Grant Gillham (Government Affairs Management & Consulting), Dan Gonzales (County Parks & Rec Commission), Marilyn Evans (Friends of Mather Park), Jane Hagedorn (Regional Parks & Open Space), Steve Harriman (River Park N A), Alison Harvey (Auburn Rancheria), Ross Johnson (Mather Regional Park), Jim Jones (American River Parkway), Matt Kuzins (SABA Director & Political Consultant), Jude Lamare (ECOS), Joseph Larzalere (Regional Parks & Open Space), Chris Lewis (California Native Plant Society), Dave Lydick (Regional Parks & Open Space), Clyde MacDonald (Water Forum), Shelley Mathews (American River Parkway),  George Nyberg (Capitol City Communications), Ken Press (SacFit), Ted Robinson (County Parks & Recreation Commission), Mike Savino (Save Our Sandhill Cranes), Lyvonne Sewell (Friends of the Riverbank), Robert Sewell (Friends of the Riverbank), Dave Tamayo (Park Commissioner City of Sacramento), Mary Tappel (American River Parkway), Paul Tebbel (Friends of the River), Joe Verderber (County Parks Maintenance Staff), Keith Wagner (Sacramento Audubon Society)

If you want to participate on the Advisory Committee please contact Warren V. Truitt at 916-987-0171 or Be prepared to give your mailing address, email address and telephone number so that we can contact you.

What is the Status?

Progress Report #1 now available

Who is TPL?

TPL is a national, nonprofit, land conservation organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, community gardens, historic sites, rural lands, and other natural places, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. TPL, among other services, helps agencies and communities identify and raise funds for conservation from federal, state, local, and philanthropic sources.