Balancing Recreational Area Use with Homelessness and Vagrancy

This webinar will share how the City of Modesto, CA, dealt with the challenge of homelessness and vagrancy in their parks and trails.

Presented by:

Event Details

** This event has passed **

August 27, 2020

10:00 AM to 11:30 AM (Pacific Time) {more time zones}

11:00 AM to 12:30 PM (Mountain Time)
12:00 PM to 01:30 PM (Central Time)
01:00 PM to 02:30 PM (Eastern Time)


FREE for members
FREE for nonmembers

Learning Credit Cost: FREE


Closed Captioning is available for this webinar.
Learning Credits
are available for this webinar.

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Webinar Outline

The California Trails and Greenways webinar series is offered in coordination with California State Parks and the California Trails Conference Foundation, with content selected from the California Trails and Greenways 2020 program.

The webinar series is offered FREE to the trails community THANKS TO the generous support of:

About this webinar:

Have a challenge with homelessness and vagrancy in your parks and trails? Want to hear from local officials in Modesto about how they are attempting to tackle this challenge? If so, this session if for you! The City of Modesto Staff will share how they have responded to the recent ruling by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that stated that criminally punishing homeless individuals when there are not enough shelter beds or housing constituted cruel and unusual punishment and violated the 8th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. This ruling changed enforcement methods of illegal camping for local law enforcement agencies and in this session you will hear the successes and lessons learned from a temporary solution to house people experiencing homelessness in a local park. How this led to a declaration of emergency to address homelessness, a temporary outdoor shelter in the Tuolumne River Regional Park (TRRP) and a multi-agency effort to address the many reasons for homelessness learned through these steps. You will hear about the affect this had on our local park system and how more permanent solutions have come about that hopefully will help many of the people experiencing homelessness in our community.

CEUs are FREE for this webinar.

Learning Objectives

  • Navigating the political landscape to support local initiatives regarding homelessness.
  • Discuss costs to stand up and support homeless encampment operations.
  • Demonstrate the challenges with decommissioning a site and returning it to the original greenspace/trail conditions.
  • Being solution oriented and collaborative while balancing the need to preserve greenspace.
  • Attendees should be able to articulate how to design an event that is part of an ongoing community culture building strategy and why that is more powerful than a standalone event.


This webinar qualifies as a Health, Safety, and Welfare (HSW) course (via LA CES).


Webinar Partners


Scotty A. Douglass, Deputy City Manager, City of Modesto

After serving onboard an aircraft carrier in the United States Navy in the late 1980’s, Scotty began his 24 year career in 1991, serving and leading Joint Powers Authority agencies. Scotty has a Bachelor’s Degree from Saint Mary’s College in Business Management and a Master’s in Leadership. Scotty also has several years of volunteer service with California State Vehicle Recreation Areas. Scotty joined the City of Modesto in January of 2019 as the Deputy City Manager of Operations.


Laurie A. Smith, Director of Parks, Recreation, and Neighborhoods, City of Modesto

Laurie has over 24 years experience with the City of Modesto, with 18 years in Economic Development. Laurie has a Bachelor’s Degree from Long Beach State in Political Science and has been the Parks, Recreation and Neighborhoods Director for approximately 2 years.


Nathan Houx, Parks Planning and Development Manager, City of Modesto

Nathan is a CA licensed Landscape Architect specializing in Park Planning, Irrigation Design and Irrigation Water Management. He has a B.S. in Landscape Architecture from Cal Poly – Pomona, and 30 years of professional experience in landscape design, construction and maintenance. During the last two decades, Nathan has managed public sector CIPs with a combined total value of more than $100M.


Closed Captioning

We are offering closed captioning for our webinars, thanks to a partnership with VZP Digital. If you are in need of this service, please email us prior to the webinar. An unedited transcript will be sent to all attendees following the webinar.

Learning Credits and CEUs

American Trails is proud to be a certified provider of the following learning credits and continuing education opportunities:

  • American Institute of Certified Planners Continuing Maintenance (AICP CM)
  • Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System (LA CES) (most HSW approved)
  • National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) CEU equivalency petition
  • CEU/PDH equivalency petition for other accepting organizations

Learning credits are free for attendees for American Trails webinars and the International Trails Summit, as well as for other trail and outdoor recreation-related conferences, webinars, and workshops we offer credits for. Learn more here.



While we may individually agree (or disagree) in whole or in part with any or all of the participants, the views expressed in these webinars are not necessarily representative of the views of American Trails as an organization or its board and staff. Unless specific situations are noted by presenters, nothing in American Trails webinars should be considered to be interpreted as a standard.

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4,878 views • posted 05/27/2020