Save Del Paso Park
" Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
  - George Santayana, Philosopher & Historian


The Problem of Enforcement

Del Paso Park sits on a peculiar strip of land that locals refer to as either “The Peninsula” or “The Thorn”. This strip of land is part of the City of Sacramento, but is surrounded to the north, east, and south by residents of the County. This leads, unfortunately, to law enforcement is being divided between two agencies.

Any crimes that are committed in the Park must be handled by the City of Sacramento. This includes 311 calls (a service for reporting non-emergency crimes). However, any crime committed outside the park, and, hence, the City's boundaries, is ultimately handled by the Sacramento County Sheriff.

Dangerously High Crime

Given that the Park is over 2 miles away from the nearest City resident, the City police seldom drive by the Park, and, very rarely, patrol its interior. As a result, service times for Del Paso Park are poor. Some emergency calls can exceed an hour and, sometimes, no one comes at all. This has lead to horrific events such as the following:

  • An intoxicated man, who was “was looking for someone”, violently kicked in a resident's front door.
  • A man, armed with a machete, charged at a resident. Fortunately, the resident was able to grab a nearby shovel and drove the man off.
  • A mentally ill man broke into a resident's barn and brutally beat their beloved rescue horse with a claw hammer. The beloved horse require months of rehabilitation to recover from its injuries. The man also killed their rooster, chickens and ducks.
  • A man wielding a “baseball bat-sized” tree limb attacked and beat a 70-year-old resident. He survived, but needed 7 stitches and suffered permanent hearing loss.
Click here to read a Sacramento Bee report on this issue

According to the FBI, and compiled on the website Area Vibes, the crime rate for the Del Paso Park area is far above the national average. The latest collected data, from 2022, reports the following for Del Paso Park:

  • Violent crime is 499% higher than the national average.
  • Property crime is 230% higher than the national average.

Environmental Threats

City Doesn't Protect the Park

The City of Sacramento has turned a blind-eye to enforcing law in the Del Paso Park. As a result, and compounded by the creation of the Respite Center, homeless have flooded into the area.

The picture, to the right, is from an abandoned homeless camp in Del Paso Park. It was cleaned up by volunteers in the community.

The long-term threat of the City's actions are as follows:

  • Destruction of Trees & Wildlife - homeless will often “clear” space for their camps.
  • Disease - human waste is often dumped into streams, pools, or other locations of convenience.
  • Pollution - shopping carts, plastics, and other materials can quickly destroy an ecosystem.
  • Needles and Drug Paraphernalia
  • Fires

Listen to the Experts

Roland Brady - Professor of Earth & Environmental Science

The following clip is from Roland Brady - a Professor Emeritus of Earth & Environmental Sciences at California State University, Fresno. This presentation was given to the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors on August 10, 2022.

David Ingram - Environmentalist

The following clip is from David Ingram, an environmentalist and member of the River City Waterway Alliance. This presentation was given to the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors on August 10, 2022.

Watch more videos on their Facebook Page

Randy Smith - Community Leader

The following clip is from Randy Smith, an environmentalist whom is involved in protecting the Del Paso Natural Reserve. This presentation was given to the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors on August 23, 2022.

City's Underfunded Development Plan


The City of Sacramento's current plans for the refurbishment of Harry Renfree Field, as outlined in their most recent proposals, include a new layout for the baseball diamond into two smaller fields, suitable for softball or Little League games, as well as an overlaying soccer field, and the addition of new basketball and tennis courts. The plan also includes a small playground where the snack bar once stood.

On the surface, this sounds like a favorable plan.  As with so many things, however, details matter, and even a cursory review of the city's plan reveals the fact that they have no cohesive, long term plan for the future of our park. Specifically, this refurbishment plan is predicated on a $3.2M grant.

Should these refurbishments ever come to pass:

  1. This plan provides no money for maintenance. Will the City be able to maintain the site or will it fall into disrepair like Renfree Field did?
  2. Does the city's plan provide any measure of security for the park? Currently, the park is not patrolled by the city police - since it is surrounded by county roads and properties.

Mistake or Deception?

The City of Sacramento, to receive a grant from the California Natural Resources Agency, submitted an official Project Application Form. The document specifies both the location and the demographics of those who will benefit. Naturally, the State of California is apt to provide grants that help the most disadvantaged citizens.

However, something is amiss in the official document. Rather than submitting the correct location, the City, strangely, submitted a location within Haggin Oaks Golf Course (near Hole #4). The following screenshot is from the official document

The actual location, of the Ruins of Renfree Field, is located over 2.5 miles away.

The question must be asked: was this a simple oversight or intentional? The residents located around the erroneous, submitted, location, have a mean annual income of approximately $30,000. If the actual location is used, the annual income is well over $60,000. In other words, using the incorrect location makes the project look far more beneficial to the State of California.

Click here to view the 2021 Project Application Form

Will It Be Maintained?

To maintain a ballpark, or a park in general, funds are needed for routine maintenance and proper upkeep. If maintenance is deferred or security is insufficient, a park can quickly fall into disrepair and be subjected to theft, vandalism, and homeless camping.

Regrettably, the City of Sacramento lacks the resources to maintain the parks, in the neighborhoods, where their residents actually live.

If the City continues with this plan, it is estimated to cost between $15,000 and $20,000 a month ($180,000 to $240,000 a year). Given the that the City currently has a maintenance backlog of $123,000,000, will the this new ballpark follow the sad history of Renfree Field?

Learn More: The City's 2014 Plan