News & Press

Away from Gun Shots, City Kids Find Peace on American River Parkway

Sacramento Bee: Sammy Caiola, June 16, 2017

Deep in the woods of River Bend Park, children’s laughter rang clear beneath a canopy of rustling leaves. They skipped and skidded their way along winding dirt trails, backed by a chorus of chirps and tweets instead of gunshots.

The eight boys and girls traveled to the park from Meadowview, Elder Creek and other Sacramento neighborhoods where crime is a part of daily life. This summer they’ll get a reprieve from the violence – at least when they’re taking part in a special program that helps expose urban kids to the outdoors.

“This reins us back to where we need to be, away from the cars and the noise,” said Carlton Malone, 12, of south Sacramento. “There’s a lot of bad people in my area. I’ve gotten used to it after a while, but it’s been getting sketchy lately. Getting close to Fourth of July, fireworks and gunfire sound the same.”

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