Save Del Paso Park
"  Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike."
  - J. K. Rowling, Author

A History of Harm

Since no city voters reside within the “Thorn”, the City of Sacramento has developed a history of apathy and negligence towards Del Paso Park. In particular, decisions are made, that often harm our community, but benefit the City. 

There are good and obvious reasons why. The City naturally, prioritizes what is most beneficial for their constituents. Since the City has no constituents near Del Paso Park, the families of Arden & Carmichael are not taken into consideration. Any harm, done to the families of Arden & Carmichael, has no negative repercussions for the City. Without representation, neglect is inevitable.

This page lists some (but not all) of the harm that has been done to Arden & Carmichael. Some of these actions are due to simple neglect and, some, are due to the aggrandizement of the City of Sacramento.

Destruction of Renfree Field

A Beloved Ballpark

Harry Renfree Baseball Field (Renfree Field) was opened in 1967 to provide a premier baseball facility for local youth and adult baseball organizations. It was Sacramento's first ballpark with outdoor electric lights.

One of the most iconic baseball diamonds in the entire state, it has a rich baseball history and was in use for several decades.  In its heyday the baseball diamond was in prime condition and the park provided a wonderful venue for a vibrant and exciting community pastime.

The following video, from 1991, shows what Renfree Field was - a beloved part of the communities of Arden & Carmichael.

Abandoned by the City

So what exactly led to Renfree Field’s closing? The City of Sacramento’s lack of attention and investment, ultimately.

When a park district maintains their properties in a first class condition, routine maintenance and proper upkeep are priority. Examples might include interior and exterior of buildings painted; parking lots, driveways, and walkways repaired and resurfaced; deteriorated landscaping replaced; replacement of aging irrigation systems; and deteriorating fencing replaced. Adequate security is maintained at all times.

But, unfortunately for Renfree Field, it was cumulatively neglected by the City of Sacramento to the point of near ruin. Left unprotected from vandalism, most of the structures finally succumbed to arson. Unable to renovate or properly operate it, the once iconic ballpark has been left abandoned by the city since 2011.

Soon, the lawless element took over. It was desecrated by vandals who stole copper wire from the electrical panels and a 2012 fire burned the press box, concession stand and finally the bleachers, leaving just a shell of a ballpark.  A person was electrocuted while taking live copper lines out of the electrical panel.

" The copper wiring in the electrical and irrigation systems has been stolen, so currently there is no operating well or pumps to irrigate the field, nor are there any operating lights. The current condition of the existing well is such that it does not produce potable water, and a new water line to connect to a water main in the adjacent street may be needed. The restroom facilities and concession stand building are old and antiquated. Once Renfree Field is improved, there may be a need to install security measures to prevent future vandalism."
  City of Sacramento
City Council Report
Report ID: 2012-00905
November 13, 2012

The history of Renfree Field became one of prostitution, human and drug trafficking and gang activity. The parking lot quickly became inundated with crime which spilled out onto Bridge Road. The situation became so severe that Emergency Responders were not able to navigate the street in order to service a call in the county neighborhood behind the park.

The Loss of Discovery Museum

The Cherished Museum

In 1967, the Discovery Museum Science & Space Center opened its doors to the public. It soon became a beloved destination for school-children and parents from all around the Sacramento Area. The Museum featured a series of rotating exhibits that covered a wide variety of topics:

  • The Space Exploration Exhibit and Planetarium allowed children to sit in a cock-pit, stare into the heavens, and try on a real spacesuit.
  • The Archaeology Exhibit allowed children to dig for ancient remains.
  • The Robot Lab allowed children to build and operate their own, customized, robots.
  • The Nature Discovery Trail land Nature Discovery Room let students explore the endless beauty of nature. The trail wove through the natural beauty of Del Paso Regional Park.

For generations, parents and children, alike, enjoyed and learned at the museum. But, its days, sadly, were numbered. The following 2017 video shows what the community has lost. Discovery Museum was renamed to “Powerhouse Science Center” shortly before being moved downtown.


Taken by the City

In 2021, the City of Sacramento completed work on the Powerhouse Science Center - located downtown off Highway 5.

Rather than maintain two museums, which could handle the ever-growing population of Sacramento, the City decided to gut the Auburn Site and move all its exhibits, its staff, and its budget, downtown. The old building, which had entertained children for over forty years, was abandoned and left derelict.

Unfortunately, the City decided to re-use the old site in the most destructive way possible.

The “Respite Center”

A Convenient Location - for the City

When the City decided to create a number of “respite centers”, to house the ever-growing City homeless, the abandoned museum became an attractive choice. Since no voters live within “The Thorn”, it gave the city an opportunity to solve its homeless problem without outraging any voters.

  1. The Respite Center would be located on the eastern-most tip of District 2's boundaries. This is far outside the neighborhoods of the City.
  2. The only City land that would be impacted includes: the Haggin Oaks Golf Complex, the Children's Receiving Home, and Del Paso Regional Park (nature preserve).
  3. The only communities, that would be impacted, are outside the City's boundaries.

Near Homes and Schools

The map below shows the location of the Respite Center. The red dot marks everything within 1/8 of a mile. This is the City's “target” area of the Respite Center. The light red circle marks all the homes, businesses, and schools within 1 mile of the Respite Center. This encompasses:

  1. The Children's Receiving Home
  2. Pasadena Avenue Elementary School
  3. Cowan Fundamental Elementary School
  4. Whitney Avenue Elementary School
  5. Mira Loma High School
  6. Arcade Fundamental Middle School
  7. Oakdale Elementary School

The remaining circles mark ranges of 1.5 miles (dark orange), 2 miles (light orange), and 2.5 miles (yellow).

Community Wasn't Warned

The City had only one problem: the site is located within feet of the Children's Receiving Home - a haven for children victimized by drugs, alcohol, mental illness, and violence. Often they have suffered from emotional, physical, and sexual abuse.

So, when the City voted to create the Respite Center, they, intentionally, didn't warn the families in Arden, Carmichael, or even the Children's Receiving Home itself. On December 14th, the City placed the Respite Center on “consent calendar”. This is a method of passing motions without debate, overview, or notification.

As unbelievable as it seems, City Council attempted to create the Respite Center without:

  1. Warning the Children's Receiving Home
  2. Warning the affected communities
  3. Holding any public debate or meetings
  4. Doing any analysis on the effects on crime & safety
  5. Doing any environmental analysis
  6. Allowing the people of Downtown Sacramento enough time to review a $3 million dollar contract.