Monday, August 24, 2009

A Wonderful August in the Arroyo Seco Watershed

It's been nothing but happy news this month in Southern California's Arroyo Seco Watershed for those of us who care about the ecosystem of this important Los Angeles area bioregion.

First, the Arroyos & Foothills Conservancy (formerly Altadena Foothills Conservancy) is finalizing the acquisition of 20 pristine and historically significant acres in Rubio Canyon. A portion of the historic Pacific Electric Railway bed, part of the Mt. Lowe Railway, lies on the property. This key parcel will secure trail access and ensure that the creek and surrounding chaparral and oak woodland right up to the Angeles National Forest boundary is preserved for all time. (Unabashed financial plug ~ they urgently still need donations for their land acquisition & stewardship fund:

Secondly, a follow-up study of the Central Arroyo Steam Restoration Project (CASRP)( confirms that the native Arroyo Chub, reintroduced last summer into the stream adjacent to Brookside Park, are still alive and reproducing! This success is due, in part, both to the City of Pasadena's installation of stormwater drain capture basins and the good work of the City's Environmental Service Manager, Gabriel Silva and his team, who collect tons of trash to recycle after UCLA Football Games and other special events at the Rose Bowl:

Thirdly, the historic Mt. Wilson Toll Road is re-opening! This 100 year old 'trail' is 3.75 miles long on a steep incline that rewards walkers and hikers with a spectacular view of the San Gabriel Valley. Originally built as a road to haul the 100 inch Mt. Wilson telescope to the Observatory, the Toll Road's restoration required $1.48 million and 5 years to complete:

Finally, how about the great weather we've had this month? It's the most pleasant August I recall enjoying during my almost 30 years in Southern California, making it a wonderful month for outdoor fun.

Now, with Labor Day Weekend fast approaching, there is no better time to get out in nature with your family and celebrate both the great restoration efforts in the Arroyo Seco Watershed and Smokey Bear's 65th Birthday!

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