Published on Thursday, May 20, 2021 | 10:38 am, PasadenaNow.com
Pasadena Mayor Victor Gordo has issued proclamations formally recognizing both National Public Safety Week and Arbor Day in Pasadena this month, officials announced Thursday.
National Public Works Week, May 16 through May 22, celebrates the men and women who operate and maintain essential systems, such as sewers and storm drains, streets and sidewalks, traffic signals, public buildings, parks, and trash collection and recycling, city officials said in a written statement.
These vital roles “could not be provided without the dedicated efforts of our public works team members,” the statement said.
Arbor Day falls on May 27 this year.
In addition to the proclamation, the city will plant 11 trees around City Hall and the Civic Center, as well as a large specimen oak tree at Defenders Park, in partnership with the Pasadena Beautiful Foundation. Due to the pandemic, no public events are planned around the planting.
“The City of Pasadena is committed to trees as a defining feature of the city,” the statement said.
Pasadena has been named a Tree City USA designee by the National Arbor Day Foundation for 31 straight years, and has also received a “Growth Award” for its promotion of urban forestry, officials added.
Pasadena Beautiful Foundation is pleased to introduce our newest Board member, Christian Arndt.
Christian is a licensed architect and has spent the past 35 years working throughout Southern California on a wide variety of large commercial projects. Most recently he worked at Moule & Polyzoides Architects in the Wallace Neff Office Building at California Avenue.
During his tenure he participated on the Metro Gold Line-Del Mar Station, the De Mandel athletic pool at Occidental College in Eagle Rock, Plaza la Reina boutique hotel in Westwood, and Patios de Cordova condominiums in Pasadena at the intersection of Oakland and Cordova Boulevard.
‘’I became disappointed with the current state of the professions for Architecture, Construction and Development. So in response, I have embarked on my solo career specializing in the design of custom homes with the Southern California characteristics we love and admire’’, said Christian. He has an enormous admiration for Southern Californian’s historic and traditional homes. He also serves on committees with Pasadena Heritage and The Institute for Classical Architecture and Art.
He loves all dogs, fine food and wine, attends classic car shows and likes traveling locally and overseas.
We believe his background and expertise will bring a great perspective to our organization.
Brad Hanson, President
Please see Christian’s video tour of Pasadena City Hall:
Since its construction 109 years ago, Pasadena’s iconic Colorado Street Bridge has tragically attracted suicide attempts. This prompted The Department of Public Works to add a 10-foot barrier in 2016, while the City considered more permanent options to deterrence. Now the City has placed mockups of three proposed barriers on the bridge for public comment.
Each of those options is a vertical barrier that impairs views of the bridge and degrades the experience of walking it.
The Board of Directors of Pasadena Beautiful strongly urges the City to consider a horizontal barrier, such as the one designed for San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge by the same engineering firm that Pasadena has engaged for the Colorado Street Bridge project. A horizontal net barrier suffers none of the drawbacks of the vertical designs; it wouldn’t detract from views or intrude on the walking experience. San Francisco supplements the net with paid and volunteer bridge patrols and has phones on the bridge, wired to a suicide prevention hotline. There is no reason that Pasadena couldn’t implement a similar program.
We believe the City dismissed the option of a horizontal barrier without adequately analyzing it, instead offering fact-free assertions that would-be suicides would have to be physically removed from it, while thrill-seekers would repeatedly be seeking to jump from it. The Colorado Street Bridge surely merits, and the community of Pasadena deserves, that the City consider a horizontal barrier that would deter suicides while respecting the aesthetics of our treasured bridge.
PBF funds and individually selects between 2-3 dozen trees each year in conjunction with the City to celebrate Arbor Day. This is also an opportunity to teach local youth groups the importance, the planting and the care of trees.
The Pasadena Beautiful Foundation has been instrumental in what is expected to be a very successful relocation of numerous plants scheduled for removal from the Ralph Parson’s campus ahead of demolition and redevelopment of the property. Redevelopment of the Parson’s site on West Walnut has been a topic of conversation for the past few years. Late last year Pasadena Beautiful Foundation decided to see what we could do about salvaging some of that plant material . We contacted the developer, Lincoln Properties and were delighted to find a very enthusiastic response to our suggestion.
Pasadena Beautiful then contacted the Pasadena Department of Public Works to enlist their support, and the plan was hatched! Pasadena Beautiful and city representatives from the Parks Division met and walked Parson’s campus to get a good look at the plant material and determine what could be successfully harvested. Suggestions were made for the deployment of the plants in various city parks and library gardens as well as the city hall complex including police headquarters.
The effort is expected to be accomplished in phases starting in mid February with the relocation of the plant material from Holly Street which is to be extended through to Pasadena Ave. Many of the plants have been transplanted in the courtyard garden at the Hill Street Library garden and its exterior perimeter. Others have been moved to the front entrance of the Central Library. Another portion of the plant material has been deployed to the area around the new facility in Central Park.
The second phase is projected to start in early June with the harvesting of the Walnut and Fair Oaks sides of the block and replant that material in parks and public green spaces throughout the city. Projected sites and ideas are currently being evaluated for potential suitability and sustainability.
A big thank you to Lincoln Properties for their positive support in our efforts to keep Pasadena Beautiful. Also many thanks to Jason Vega, Pasadena Parks Coordinator, and his great team that provided the manpower and equipment to get the task accomplished.
PBF member, Julie Russell organized this event in collaboration with Learning Works. PBF bought and donated 13 semi-dwarf citrus trees which were planted at the location on Walnut just down the street from Learning Works by volunteers.
Pasadena Beautiful Foundation is pleased to announce the award of a grant from the Pasadena Community Foundation for the beautification of the Hill Avenue Branch Library.
Over its long collaboration, the City of Pasadena regularly makes suggestions to the Pasadena Beautiful Foundation (PBF) about City property beautification projects which could be managed by PBF. In January of this year, a suggestion was made to PBF president, Polly Wheaton that revamping the courtyard of the historically significant Hill Avenue Branch Library would be a worthwhile endeavor.
This building is jewel of public architecture designed by renowned resident architect Sylvanus Marston in 1925. The Hill Avenue Branch is the oldest extant library building in the city and a lovely example of Spanish Colonial Revival style. PBF contacted two landscape designers to create a plan and solicit bids for the c. 2500 sq. ft. courtyard. Longtime PBF member Wendy Crowley submitted a grant proposal to the Pasadena Community Foundation (“PCF”) which was accepted in May 2014.
After researching the property at the Pasadena Museum of History, the designated designer Laurie Jutzi determined that the building originally had a covered patio and plans for a fountain.
As a result of input from a number of sources, a design was created which incorporated a wide pathway leading from the main library building to the extensive patio on the west side of the courtyard and to an additional seating area to the east. It is recommended that some unsightly cement extensions to openings onto the patio and a broken concrete step by the large western patio should be demoed. A fountain was proposed as a focal point for the path and views from various library windows. Finally, a palette of drought tolerant plantings was suggested in keeping with the architectural style of the building and Marston’s original vision.
Parks and Natural Resources Crew Supervisor Tom Hunter, determined that decomposed granite with a substantial quantity of binder was the most economically feasible pathway surface. The construction of the path and grading of the courtyard surface to drain away from the building towards the center of the space was a major part of the funding budget. Mr. Hunter indicated that the city would install appropriate irrigation at their cost to connect with its city-wide CalSense system as well as provide 6″ arroyo stone sufficient to lay edging along the path to keep mulch from intruding on to the path surface. PBF has plans to have members of the foundation assist city employees with installing the plant material and spreading mulch on November 8, 2014.
PBF is confident that a twelve week period should be more than adequate to complete this enhancement to the Hill Avenue Branch Library, a beloved edifice in Pasadena’s architectural legacy.
From the Library: I’m pleased to let you know that the patio garden is very popular at Hill Ave Branch Library. We are pleased to be able to offer this space for people who want to read outside, eat lunch or play after crafts and programs, including story time. We have had one large program outside – an animal show, and we plan to have more programs soon. That space accommodates many more people than we can fit into any space inside. So, I want to thank you once again for helping to make this happen. Please pass my thanks along to all Pasadena Beautiful participants.
Pasadena Beautiful Foundation members along with the City of Pasadena Parks & Natural Resources crew and Flintridge Preparatory School volunteers have gathered to restore plantings at Singer Park in past years.
Members of Pasadena Beautiful Foundation, along with City workers and Flintridge Preparatory School volunteers gathered to plant 60 new rosebushes in Singer Park—a special place for Pasadena families dating back over 80 years. In addition to the roses, planting areas were filled in with brightly colored gazanias and lantana.
Pasadena Beautiful Day, an annual event, reflects the organization’s ongoing collaboration with the City and local school volunteers as a demonstration of Pasadena Beautiful’s mission to maintain and enhance our city’s urban forest.
Roses planted at Singer Park in their glory.
Drought tolerant succulents planted around Singer Park sign.
Pasadena Beautiful Foundation applied for and was awarded a grant from the Pasadena Community Foundation to redo the Santa Catalina Library front gardens. PBF Board member, Sylvia Hale, served as project chair. Landscape Designer, Gavi Yariv submitted a design and, Tom Hunter from the City of Pasadena created a grading plan. On Saturday, October 24, between 8 a.m. and 12 noon volunteers, along with the City, removed all plants. In addition, the City prepared the soil and dug necessary holes in preparation for planting.
The planting of the garden took place on Saturday, November 14 from a.m. to 12 noon. The garden is now drought tolerant and water-wise. Cityworkers and community volunteers participated in the planting activity. Sylvia Hale noted that the project was a very productive collaboration between library representative Barbara Ayala, Pasadena Public Library, Pasadena City Public Works’ Parks and Natural Resources Division and crews, the Pasadena Community Foundation and PBF.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held immediately following the planting.
The Pasadena Community Foundation approved the full $10,000 grant request to re-landscape the Pasadena Senior Center west and front gardens. Marco Barrantes of La Loma Development Company Inc. designed the plan. Execution of the plan was completed in June of 2011 by the City of Pasadena with participation from PBF members.
Project chair Wendy Crowley acknowledged Bette Cooper, Sylvia Hale and the Pasadena City staff for the successful collaboration in securing and implementing the grant.
The grant monies allowed PBF to pay the City for the installation and placement of a new irrigation system. Grant funds also paid for materials: drought-tolerant plants, two benches for bus riders and decomposed granite. Three trees will be purchased with monies from the Tree Fund.
In early spring of 2013, members of PBF planted hundreds of donated narcissus bulbs at Sidney F. Tyler park. This is the landscaped median which is between Lakewood Place and Lake Avenue, just south of California Boulevard. It was beautiful when they were in bloom.
Unfortunately, this year’s warm weather and lack of rain precipitated a very short blooming season.
Pasadena Beautiful Foundation has installed five benches in remembrance of it’s founding members at various sites in Pasadena. Three of them provide much needed respite for waiting bus commuters. Two are at the Vina Vieja Park in the Off Leash Dog Park area and in front of the playground. Each bench has a plaque with Pasadena Beautiful Foundation’s name and logo and the name of the person remembered.
In remembrance of Alice Frost Kennedy at the Alice Off Leash Dog Park.
Pooch Rests at Alice’s Bench A PBF member’s dog pauses for a rest at Alice Frost Kennedy’s memorial bench at the Off Leash Dog park in Eaton Canyon.
Bench installed at Vina Vieja Park in front of the playground in remembrance of Richard Nevins.
Bench in remembrance of Ted Behr at 575 South Orange Grove Boulevard.
In remembrance of Bob Cheesewright at 170 South Lake Avenue installed 2008.
A bench installed on Del Mar Avenue and Hudson by the Pasadena Unified School District in remembrance of Alice Frost Kennedy.
Each bench has a plaque with the Pasadena Beautiful name and logo and the name of the person remembered.