Medford, Ore. – The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office teamed up with the Medford Police Department to clean up the Bear Creek Greenway Thursday morning.
The nearly 18-mile bike and walking path extends from Ashland to Central Point and has long been a haven for transient activity. The illegal camping sites often accompany a substantial amount of trash.
In the latest sweep, JSCO joined with MPD, Jackson County Mental Health, Veteran’s Affairs and Parole and Probation. They focused on a stretch of the greenway between East South State Road and Glenwood Road in south Medford.
In all, 11 citations were issued for prohibited camping, three people were arrested for trespassing and five individuals were arrested on outstanding warrants. Now, crews are focusing on removing “large amounts of trash and debris,” according to JSCO.
Police said they sometimes receive criticism for the sweeps, but they want to make the greenway safe and enjoyable for all residents. “We are trying our best to offer services to these individuals, but they simply cannot live like this,” Medford police wrote. “As you can see, the toll it takes on the environment, and the safety issue causes to folks using the bike path is something we cannot ignore.”