During my year-long employment at the Arroyo Seco Foundation I advanced two specific, complementary programs of the organization with Executive Director Tim Brick. I feel that both of the programs had a very positive effect on the communities within the Arroyo Seco watershed that will be appreciated for years to come. First, I worked on the Central Arroyo Seco stream restoration program. Not only did the stream restoration maintain and strengthen one of the most beautiful waterways within the City of Pasadena, the program emphasized public awareness and community involvement. We worked particularly hard on including all potential interest groups and alerting the public to the ongoing benefits to be realized. Second, I worked as a general outreach coordinator for the Arroyo Seco Foundation watershed coordinator program. In comparison to the more site-specific stream restoration program, the watershed coordinator program took a broad view in analyzing current water uses throughout the entire watershed and ways in which all people could contribute to the water problems facing Southern California. The Arroyo Seco Foundation takes a progressive view of implementing positive change for water rights within Southern California by working on diverse levels with all interested groups. By spreading the message of wise water use and environmental values throughout an arid region, the Arroyo Seco Foundation is effecting positive change for Southern California.
The Arroyo Seco Foundation provides critical leadership in fostering the full restoration of the Arroyo Seco watershed in Southern California. I had the pleasure of working on the 2008 Central Arroyo Stream Restoration Project, which reintroduced native fish to the urban waterway. I've also worked on a number of workshops and community outreach projects.
I had a great time being part of the Arroyo Seco Foundation. As a summer intern, I got the experience to watch the construction of a stream restoration project. The main goal was to bring back a native fish- the Arroyo Chub. In doing so, the project restored part of the stream area by replanting native trees and plants, building weirs to slow down the stream flow, and stabilizing the trail for erosion control. But behind the scene, there was more going on than just this project. Volunteers for the foundation helped out by removing invasive plants and gathering trash lying in the stream. Others went out and did monthly water monitoring testing. This foundation plays a key role in making sure that the Arroyo Seco continues to have the natural and native environment that it deserves. And, I got a chance to be part of it.
The Arroyo Seco Foundation has made a positive footprint on our Arroyo Seco River these past 20 years and I am certain they will continue to do the same for the next 20 years. The Foundation does a great job of educational outreach through its speakers and school art programs.The theme is an all important one: to protect and preserve our natural watershed system which includes one of the last natural alluvial fans in Southern California. The message has been reaching people all over the San Gabriel Valley. That's 4 Stars.
The Arroyo Seco Foundation has really made a tangible environmental difference, and I am impressed with their work restoring a stream and propagating a local endangered native tree. I wish I could do more to help them in their efforts to save a local wild park from development.
The ASF website starts out great with a logo with style - has a craftsman architecture that's just right for Pasadena. The next thing I notice is that it's current. Most site's have the look of last week's newspaper or worse. But ASF is up to the minute and that takes a lot of dedication to maintain. And finally it's got just the right balance of value and plea. All causes constatntly need maoney, but when all they do is cry out for help, it's just another shout in the wind. This website says "Here's what happening, here's what we're doing and this is why we deserve your support." That's more like it.
As a local environmental advocate in Altadena, I have had many and varied and ongoing interactions with the Arroyo Seco Foundation over the years. I will just mention a few of the most notable here. When I began trying to stir up greater consciousness for environmental concerns in our community in 2004, I was told by the then-chair of the Altadena Town Council: "The watershed is NOT an issue in Altadena." This attitude was so disturbing that we started up an ad hoc group, The Altadena Watershed Committee. The Arroyo Seco Foundation was extremely supportive, and sent its watershed coordinator Jeff Chapman to monthly meetings to help us develop a mission and programs. We offered a free and well-attended educational program at the Community Center, where Chapman was one of our featured speakers. Our next project, a waterwise demonstration pocket park on the southwest corner of Woodbury Road and Marengo Avenue took a three years to realize, and the Arroyo Seco Foundation remained an active partner (along with other nonprofits, the Metropolitan Water District, and County government ) in attaining this goal. Old Marengo Park, now growing in and beautiful, is a wonderful example of drought tolerant landscaping and a testament to the power of concerned citizens and groups working together. About 25,000 motorists drive by it every day, and the Arroyo Seco Foundation continued as an active partner over the years it took to raise money for, and then to build the park. The Arroyo Seco's lobbying efforts to fund the Army Corps of Engineers study of the the Arroyo Seco have been ongoing and largely successful. Only an organization with persistence and a sufficiently large view to advocate for this watershed as one entity has had the vision to keep pushing for this study. I became tangentially involved when asked, along with ASF's Exec. Director Tim Brick, to supply testimony to Congress supporting this activity. Another area where I witnessed ASF's effectiveness on behalf of this watershed was in its bid to stop housing from coming in to the last developable land in the Arroyo Seco at an army reserve site underneath the bridge leading into Pasadena. Instead, ASF advocated for a small nature education center and restoration of the rest of the land back to native habitat. Although not an unmitigated success, ASF's view that low-income housing was a most unsuitable use for this public land prevailed. Ultimate resolution of what it will be used for when the land reverts from federal to city ownership remains open, but ASF has laid groundwork for the possible implementation of its more public-spirited and nature-friendly plan in the future. Another key experience with ASF was with a still to be resolved public project. The Woodbury Corridor, which marks the boundary between Altadena and Pasadena from Lake Avenue west, is for most of its course an ugly, asphalted 8-12 foot wide median strip. The dream is to turn this into a bio-swale of drought tolerant plantings, and catchment for storm runoff which would slow peak flow and prevent millions of gallons of water from wastefully flowing into the ocean. Because Altadena's Watershed Committee is not a 501-c3 organization, it did not have standing to list this potential project in the IRWMP (Integrated Regional Water Management Program) process. ASF entered the project on the list, which puts it in line for consideration for state funding as it becomes available. So to sum up, ASF fills a crucial regional need in advocating for the Arroyo Seco Watershed, a precious resource that runs from mountain wilderness through a varied and vulnerable urban landscape with numerous and often-conflicting jurisdictions. The only constructive feedback I can offer is that a larger and more involved board with representation from all communities within the Watershed would strengthen its position, and ability to identify potential projects to benefit the whole.
As a consultant, I have the opportunity to work with many clients doing wonderful work to improve our environment and quality of life. ASF stands apart for their vision, long-term commitment,and constant advocacy for the Arroyo. The Arroyo Seco is a unique and vital linkage between the extremes of the wild and rugged San Gabriel Mountains to the north and the urban core of Los Angeles to the south. It serves as mutitude of needs: transportation, recreation, water supply, wildlife corridor, and habitat among others. ASF teaches about the value of the Arroyo in each of these different facets, works tirelessly to improve conditions and access, and focuses on restoration opportunities from a holistic perspective. Under Tim Brick's leadership, ASF is also expert at forging relationships among the multitude of agencies and stakeholders active in and along the Arroyo. It is for these reasons that I am proud to serve ASF, not only as a consultant but also as a volunteer on cleanup activities.
The only organization dedicated to the entire Arroyo Seco Watershed, from the headwaters in the San Gabriel Mountains following the Arroyo Seco stream through the urban landscapes of Pasadena and Los Angeles to the confluence with the LA River. Arroyo Seco Foundation is the one-stop website for issues that define this region, environmental to recreational to historical and cultural.
For more than twenty years now, the Arroyo Seco Foundation has been championing the protection and enhancement of one of Southern California's environmental gems, the Arroyo Seco canyon and watershed. ASF had made the Arroyo an living laboratory and a model of watershed management. They restored the habitat and even re-introduced a native fish, the Arroyo Chub, to the stream.
Review from Guidestar