Friday, October 9, 2009

Lost Garden: Found

A couple of quick facts about Earthside Nature Center: it was founded in 1971 by the Pasadena Girls Club and naturalist and author Elna S. Bakker. Kevin Connelly, a horticulturalist and native plant advocate, took over the day-to-day operations in 1975. Volunteers and contributions helped Bakker and Connelly keep the place running for twenty years or so. But both of them happened to die in the mid-1990s and no one took up the cause. Earthside has been returning to nature ever since.

Earthside Nature Center appeared to be an abandoned idyll until recently. Arroyo Lover told us in yesterday's comments that plans are in the works, and I found a .pdf about it on the City's website. Since I don't know how to link you to a .pdf, I'll tell you simply to go to this page and click on the GREENVISION link. It takes you to a .pdf of a study that was done this year by four grad students in Urban and Regional Planning at Cal Poly Pomona. Among other things, the study offers suggestions and potential uses for Earthside (the uses they suggest are all parks).

One of the people the Cal Poly students met with was the guy who got the Altadena Hiker and me interested in Earthside in the first place, open space advocate Michael Coppess of East of Allen. His was the last comment on yesterday's post before I had to sign off. He said, "Most recently, the parcel was slated for a fire and police training area. Thus far, there is no official city action preserving the site for open space, park or garden use."

So though Earthside will no longer be abandoned, perhaps it will also no longer be an idyll. I'm glad I got to snoop around and take pictures. More tomorrow.

11 comments:

Turquoise Diaries said...

This is a very good project. Good luck with that..

altadenahiker said...

Any time I hear about the potential loss of a little plot of open space, it chills me.

With the increasing interest in and importance of native plants, don't know why the original intent can't be resurrected.

Wonder what other secret gardens Michael knows about...

Almost Precious said...

Strange how developers face little resistance from planning commissioners when it comes to tearing out a swath of lush green space...but try to save such an area for nature and the enjoyment of humanity, well that doesn't rake in the tax dollars, does it ?
Hope in the long run that some sane minds prevail and more natural areas are saved for the enjoyment humanity and the betterment of our planet.

Laurie said...

I really wish I could take off today and explore this place!

I also want to know about more secret gardens Michael knows about...

Petrea said...

I'll bet Michael knows as many secret places East of Allen as the Hiker knows in Altadena.

Firefighters and police officers have to be trained, I guess. But like the idea of leaving it alone. We leave so few places alone.

Precious, this plot probably won't be developed for sale as it's almost beneath giant power wire towers. Lovely, despite the proximity.

Bellis said...

The firefighter training place below the Colorado St Bridge is closing soon, and part of the area will be turned into a natural park, a continuation of the Arroyo. I hope Earthside won't be destroyed because the training center is being relocated there? Win one, lose one.

Margaret said...

Great project. Love the way the fence looks like the start of a maze.

Michael Coppess said...

Don't know of any more secret gardens. But, there are other urprising little places along the Eaton Wash. I'm thinking of a row of old oaks south of the dog park. And a shady grove south of Earthside on what I think is utility land. That one has poison oak to boot!

Petrea, thank you for the photos and discussion.

Petrea said...

I've been offline most of the day. Oh woe! Finally got that fixed. What an addict I am.

Thanks for the new spots to discover, Michael. I'll check those out.

I like that, too, Margaret. Beyond it you can just see the wash.

Bellis, I didn't know that project was moving forward and I'm glad to hear it. Better get some pictures before they take out the buildings.

Jilly said...

These last two posts show such a beautiful area which you show us so temptingly. Good luck with your new camera. How exciting!

Petrea said...

Thank you, Jilly!