Public access improvements at Camp Pollock, including observation deck and non-motorized watercraft access; completion of the Myrtle Johnston Lodge improvement project; water infrastructure improvements; and mural installations.
The Sacramento Valley Conservancy is honored to receive this critical funding for Camp Pollock improvements through the $12 million in state funds that have been secured for the American River Parkway. At the check presentation on Tuesday morning, Sacramento Valley Conservancy executive director Kelly Hopkins’ comments included:
Thank you Senator Pan and Assemblymember McCarty for your continued commitment to a healthy future for Sacramento and to the California State Lands Commission for entrusting the Sacramento Valley Conservancy as the long-term manager of Camp Pollock. I would like to acknowledge each and every volunteer, docent, donor, the SVC board of directors and my very small but mighty staff, all of whom, have collectively worked to support the vision for Camp Pollock for the past 8 years.
Camp Pollock has been a haven for wildlife and outdoor recreation in the Lower American River Parkway for nearly a century. The public access improvement funding announced today will allow the Sacramento Valley Conservancy to make significant improvements at Camp Pollock that will increase the number of community members who can regularly come and enjoy this unique area. These funds will make possible the planning, permitting and installation of a nature education and observation deck overlooking the river, as well as improved access to the river itself for everything from paddle boarding to shoreline picnics.
Funding will also support the completion of the Myrtle Johnston Lodge improvements which serves as a gathering place for so many of our local non-profits, community groups, and for other celebrations. Senator Pan and Assemblymember McCarty’s tireless advocacy for this funding will also enable us to move forward with critical water infrastructure improvements to improve water quality and to meet the growing demand by visitors to Camp Pollock; and, finally, I’m also very excited to announce that this funding will support mural installations by local Sacramento artist Maren Conrad. All of these improvements will be enjoyed by the community for many years to come.
The tremendous leadership of Assemblyman McCarty and Senator Pan in promoting stewardship of the Lower American River Parkway continues a long tradition started by iconic Sacramentan Myrtle Johnston. Myrtle was a mother, wife and leader in her role as president of the North Sacramento Land Company from 1953-1971. Myrtle helped bring youth from the community to experience hands-on learning along the American River and was the first private landowner to help establish the Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail. She provided the vision, the leadership, and the land for much of what we now know as the American River Parkway.
I’m grateful to each of the leaders standing here today for helping to improve and expand that vision, and for choosing to invest in this regional jewel.
SACRAMENTO VALLEY CONSERVANCY
The Sacramento Valley Conservancy (SVC) preserves the beauty, character and biodiversity of the Sacramento Valley landscape by protecting and stewarding natural and working lands, and scenic open spaces for the benefit of current and future generations. Since its founding in 1990, SVC has helped protect more than 50 properties and 18,000 acres of open space in the region. Its versatile staff of 10 is guided by a 12-member Board of Directors, who work alongside 50 dedicated docents, 100 volunteers, 1200 donors, and collaborate with dozens of nonprofits, local businesses, government agencies and the passionate Sacramento community.
Camp Pollock is located within the heart of the Lower American River Parkway, just north of downtown Sacramento off Highway 160 at Northgate Boulevard. The SVC has been managing and revitalizing the 11-acre riverfront site since 2013. The property is open to the general public every day from sunrise to sunset, with free parking and free river access. The 1923 historic Myrtle Johnston Lodge takes guests back with nostalgic architecture, sprawling porch, wood-beamed grand hall, and magnificent two-story stone fireplace. The native plant garden courtyard is a peaceful spot for picnics, buzzes with activity during summer camps and concerts, and is maintained by dedicated volunteers. Over a mile of recreational trails meander under mature trees and alongside riparian habitat.
The Sacramento Valley Conservancy’s motto is “open space for all” and this will continue to guide plans at Camp Pollock. Visitors to Camp Pollock are as diverse as the Sacramento region it serves. Investments to improve access and infrastructure at Camp Pollock will allow visitors to enjoy the natural beauty of this historic property and continue to provide a space for the community to recreate. Each year more than 7,000 visitors come to Camp Pollock for day-camps, trainings, volunteer projects, family gatherings, youth campouts, cultural ceremonies, fitness events and much more.
Concept design for Camp Pollock access improvements
Photos from the check presentation ceremony on Tuesday
Photos of Camp Pollock