Memorial Day is right around the corner which means the beginning of the summer recreation season is upon us. Sacramento County’s Department of Regional Parks would like to remind visitors about ways to stay safe while enjoying local parks and rivers.
The American River is running low again this year and while many visitors think this means it safer to enjoy, it can still be dangerous.
Be Safe in the Water:
Life Looks Good On You
—and so does a life vest! Before you dive in, put on a life vest. There are borrowing stations along Sacramento’s waterways. Remember, even the strongest swimmer can be pulled under by the strong river currents.
Kids Don’t Float
—but life vests do. Make sure your child wears a life vest. Sacramento County ordinance requires any child under 13 to wear a life vest before accessing any public waters (Sacramento County Ordinance 13.08.301). Bring a life vest to the river for each of your children. If you forget a life vest, you can borrow one from one of the many borrowing stations along the American River.
Rivers are still running cold with snowmelt this weekend. Sacramento County recommends that people of all ages and abilities use caution when swimming or boating. Visit the Department of Regional Parks water safety webpage
for more tips.
Open flame fires are not allowed and barbecuing is only permitted in designated picnic areas. All fireworks are prohibited in Regional Parks. Smoking is only allowed in developed picnic areas, asphalt surfaces, golf courses and on levee tops in the American River Parkway. In preparation for this fire season, Rangers are making it a high priority to continue their fire prevention efforts through education and enforcement. If you see smoke or a smoldering fire, call 9-1-1.
Alcohol Prohibited for the Holiday Weekend:
Beginning Saturday, May 28 through Monday, May 30, possession of alcohol is prohibited on the shore and river of the American River within Sacramento County Regional Parks’ jurisdiction and at Sherman Island. The prohibition includes open or closed alcoholic beverages.
The water we swim in is rarely germ-free. Even when a lake or river looks clear, bacteria and microorganisms can still be present.
Protect your health with a few steps to keep germs out of the water and off you:
- Keep it clean - stay out of the water if you feel ill; shower before you get in; have everyone get out to take bathroom breaks every hour; and don’t swallow the water.
Healthy swimming habits for anyone enjoying lakes, rivers and waterways:
- Do not drink recreational water or use the water for cooking.
- Do not enter the water if you have cuts or open sores, as these are pathways for bacteria to enter your body.
- Avoid algae blooms (brightly colored water) and trash in the water.
- Wash your hands or shower after swimming.
- Pay attention and follow any warning signs and postings. Do not access a water body if posted warnings indicate it is not safe to do so.
- Contact your healthcare provider if you have concerns regarding your health after swimming in recreational waters.
Parking Fee Increase:
The number of visits to Regional Parks increases dramatically during holiday weekends, which increases the cost to staff and maintain the parks. In order to offset these costs and provide maximum staffing and enforcement, the vehicle entrance fee will increase to $9 for single vehicles and $15 for oversized vehicles and vehicles towing watercraft. These increases will not affect annual pass holders. Visitors who regularly enjoy County Parks are encouraged to purchase an Annual Parks Pass
, not only to save money but to help keep our parks safe and clean.
Keep Our Parks Clean
Helping out is easy! Some easy ways you can help keep our parks clean and beautiful include:
Please do not litter.
- Minimizing your own trash. Reduce the amount of waste you bring into our parks by using re-usable containers that you can bring home afterward.
- Use the garbage cans located throughout our parks.
- Practice pack it in, pack it out. If you bring something with you, take it with you when you leave. That includes food scraps and beverage containers!