Greenway cleanups begin as fire danger increases

MEDFORD, Ore. – As the weather heats up and coronavirus restrictions lift, Medford police are working to clean up the Bear Creek Greenway.

Ever since COVID-19 restrictions were put in place, transients have been allowed to camp and stay in one place along the greenway without being kicked out by authorities. However, the risk of fire is becoming too high and trash is starting to build up, Medford police said.

The Medford Police Department said it’s working with community organizations and reaching out to the homeless and cleaning up the greenway.

In the recent sweeps, MPD said they arrested two people for probation violations and two more for failure to appear. According to MPD, they were also able to help out a domestic violence survivor.

MPD also addressed why it conducted the sweeps during the night. “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,” Chief Scott Clauson said. “Connecting with individuals plays a critical role in determining what items are personal belongings and what items are abandoned and can be removed.”

The City of Medford is looking into building a temporary campground with hand-washing stations, restrooms, food, and other services. If the resolution passes, the camp will be established near the corner of Biddle Road and Midway Road in Medford. Funding for the camp will be provided by non-profits.

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