SEVERE WX : Dense Fog Advisory View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Latest Bear Creek Greenway clean-up operation couples outreach with enforcement

With multiple organizations and agencies working together, Medford Police says that this week's clean-up accomplished more than just garbage pickup.

Posted: Jun 26, 2020 5:09 PM
Updated: Jun 26, 2020 5:45 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. — With buy-in from a coalition of non-profit organizations and local agencies, the first Bear Creek Clean-up operation since the advent of coronavirus may have accomplished much more than simply garbage pickup.

After Oregon went into COVID-19 lockdown in mid-March, law enforcement agencies agreed to suspend Greenway "sweep" operations while Jackson County worked to bring in improved sanitation and food delivery to the area.

"As COVID-19 restrictions slowly begin to relax and we move into summer, fire danger is a growing concern as well as the sharp increase of discarded trash accumulation along the Greenway," MPD said on Friday. "In response, the Medford Police Department, in partnership with numerous local service organizations, conducted homeless outreach and cleanup initiatives along the Greenway throughout the past week."


RELATED: Mobile health clinic offers care along the Bear Creek Greenway


This time, the clean-up included a multi-pronged effort to both beautify the Greenway and connect the houseless with resources. Greenway sweeps typically include handing out some information on resources, and an operation in January was assisted by MPD's Livability Team — but this week's operation may represent the most concerted effort to date.

On Monday, staff from multiple organizations — including ACCESS, Maslow Project, Addictions Recovery Center, Jackson Care Connect, Columbia Care, Veterans Resources, Street Dogs  — held a resource fair in Railroad Park, which MPD said was attended by more than 70 people.

“Partnering with other essential service providers helps to ensure we are able to address the needs of each individual receiving outreach services during this effort,” said Medford Police chief Clauson.

Over the past week, MPD said that two people were placed in the Kelly Shelter, seven more applied for housing with the Gospel Mission, and a domestic violence survivor was connected with other housing services.

During the operation, Jackson County Parole and Probation arrested four people on probation violations, and MPD officers arrested two people on "failure to appear" warrants. One person was cited and released for possessing a $2,200 stolen Specialized bike.

Meanwhile, other groups worked to remove roughly 300 cubic yards of garbage from the Greenway, including from within the creek. That included loose garbage, food wrappers, needles, cardboard, drug paraphernalia, and discarded plastic, Medford Police said.

Though garbage pickup happened during the day, much of the outreach occurred late Monday night and into the early hours of Tuesday morning.

“Through previous experiences we have found more success in connecting with individuals when we conduct initiatives during the late evening and early morning time frame,” said Clauson. “Connecting with individuals plays a critical role in determining what items are personal belongings and what items are abandoned and can be removed.”

MPD thanked Medford Parks, Recreation and Facilities, Jackson County Mental Health, Rogue Retreat, Easter Seals Veterans Outreach, Rogue Disposal and St. Vincent de Paul for participating and providing services during the week-long effort.

Next week, the Medford City Council will consider a proposal to create a temporary urban campground for the houseless while COVID-19 persists. That campground would include space for people to stay, hand washing stations, portable restrooms, food, and case management services.

"This week’s initiatives along the Greenway and the efforts to create a temporary urban campground are indicative of the City’s dedication to assist our vulnerable population through a comprehensive effort of working with community partners to provide essential services such as housing, access to health care, food and more," MPD said.

NewsWatch 12 will have further coverage on the temporary campground this evening at 5 and 6 p.m.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 387485

Reported Deaths: 5116
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah59768836
Washington41571393
Marion39592504
Clackamas32426376
Lane29856354
Jackson24672350
Deschutes23182185
Umatilla15087180
Linn14488178
Douglas13236286
Josephine10057240
Yamhill9665142
Klamath8979145
Polk813698
Benton605137
Malheur591586
Coos5573106
Columbia423855
Jefferson416865
Lincoln357252
Union336854
Crook330156
Wasco314846
Clatsop258335
Baker217531
Tillamook214345
Hood River211337
Morrow197025
Curry190136
Harney119332
Grant108314
Lake104016
Wallowa74713
Sherman1903
Gilliam1844
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 5060666

Reported Deaths: 74152
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles152491227121
San Diego4047084319
Riverside3849455306
San Bernardino3718825944
Orange3329505675
Sacramento1674002423
Kern1565171781
Fresno1558992246
Santa Clara1511691922
Alameda1246581504
San Joaquin1070001833
Ventura1036461188
Contra Costa1032921045
Stanislaus912991413
Tulare856141082
San Francisco56614669
San Mateo56058629
Monterey52340625
Solano47422356
Santa Barbara47035548
Merced44807664
Sonoma42912412
Placer41881468
Imperial38128769
Kings35038358
San Luis Obispo31294358
Madera26005311
Shasta25917440
Butte25295309
Santa Cruz22028222
Yolo21451257
Marin18342248
El Dorado18166161
Sutter14494181
Napa13372104
Yuba1070088
Tehama10230129
Humboldt10043117
Nevada9914103
Mendocino848894
Lassen792355
San Benito775977
Tuolumne767790
Lake6990110
Amador573766
Siskiyou470954
Glenn455136
Calaveras435685
Del Norte371242
Colusa323519
Inyo254345
Plumas19127
Mono18294
Mariposa156718
Trinity98817
Modoc7475
Unassigned2430
Sierra2170
Alpine1060
Out of CA00
Medford
Cloudy
47° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 47°
Brookings
Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 52°
Crater Lake
Mostly Cloudy
47° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 47°
Grants Pass
Cloudy
47° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 47°
Klamath Falls
Cloudy
31° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 31°
Thick fog Sunday morning, clearing out and staying dry later today
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events

Latest Video

Image

Ducks survive late Beaver surge, win 125th rivalry game

Image

Saturday, November 27th Weather

Image

SOU Men out shoot Antelope Valley, Women win 4th-straight

Image

Friday, November 26th Evening Weather

Image

Friday, November 26 weather

Image

Thursday, November 25th Evening Weather

Image

Pet of the Week: Bat, Hunk & Keith

Image

Thursday, November 25 afternoon weather

Image

Thursday, November 25 morning weather

Image

2021-2022 StormWatch 12 Winter Forecast