BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The City of Bakersfield is launching a $2 million program today to help clean up the Kern River Parkway. 

The city said the program will focus on reaching out to homeless camps in the area, maintaining green spaces, litter and graffiti removal and more. The city is providing 11 dedicated staff members to accomplish this. 

The program is being paid for through Measure N funding, according to the city. 

“The Kern River Parkway is the jewel of the city’s parks system and this plan will ensure this asset is preserved for all users of the path and nearby green spaces,” said City Manager Christian Clegg. “It is crucial this vital recreation area remains safe, clean and welcoming for generations to come.” 

The new dedicated resources include:

  • A six-person Code Enforcement Rapid Response Team, responsible for responding to illegal encampments and homeless outreach
  • A four-person Recreation & Parks Rapid Response Team responsible for enhancing maintenance of all green space and park areas along the path, including the uplands of the Kern River and San Miguel Grove
  • One graffiti-removal crew member dedicated to proactively removing and cataloguing reports of graffiti throughout the corridor
  • Two Clean City teams dedicated to proactively patrolling and responding to reports of litter and illegal dumping solely in the trail area
  • $100,000 in outreach services funding to partner with local non-profits for the purpose of contacting and assisting homeless individuals along the trail and in nearby areas.