Events Recent Plantings

Mayor’s Tree Dedication

PBF had the privilege of donating a tree to commemorate this event.  Trees were planted in various parks in honor of the longest serving Mayor of Pasadena, Bill Bogaard on April 24, 2015.  The following trees were planted: 

Mayor’s Grove Engelmann Oak at Mayor’s Grove, Camphor at Singer Park, Valley Oak at Sid Tyler’s Park, Palo Verde at Robinson Park, Deodar Cedar at Brookside Park and a Quercus Agrifolia at Jefferson Park.


Arbor Day 2015

Arbor Day was held Saturday, March 28, 2015 at Allendale Park. Pasadena Beautiful Foundation donated a total of 10 trees for the event. PBF members were on hand to assist with planting of 7 Camphor trees and 3 Jacarandas as well as agaves and senecios.  On hand was the current Mayor of Pasadena, Terry Tornek.

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PBF Annual Luncheon 2014

Pasadena Beautiful Foundation held it’s annual luncheon at Caltech Atheneum on June 17, 2014.  The event marked the outgoing President, Polly Wheaton and the introduction of incoming President, Brooke Larsen Garlock.
Those present included the mayor of Pasadena, Bill Bogaard who gave a speech on the achievements in Pasadena and acknowledged Pasadena Beautiful Foundation’s contribution.  Also, present was Executive Director of Pasadena Community Foundation, Jennifer Fleming DeVoll.

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Golden Arrow Awards Ceremony 2014

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Featured Project Recent Plantings

Landscaping Project at Hill Avenue Branch Library

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.

Pasadena Beautiful Foundation Volunteers in front of library

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.

Click here to download the proposal

Click here to download the projected timeline

This project was featured in the January 2016 issue of the Pasadena Public Library’s “Off The Shelf” e-newsletter! Click here to see the issue

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.


CalFire Funding

In 2013, CALFIRE (California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection) awarded PBF $75,000 in Federal Funds earmarked for Southern California’s Storm recovery efforts.

These funds were for Urban Tree Planting to restore trees lost in the windstorm so that those affected areas will once again enjoy the remarkable benefits that urban trees provide. The funding allowed us to plant 215 24” box-sized trees in residential neighborhoods, parks and libraries.



American Forests Donation

On May 15th 2012, a partnership began between American Forests and Pasadena Beautiful. American Forests awarded Pasadena Beautiful $4350. On this day the first tree planting with volunteers from American Forests and Chegg took place in Northwest Pasadena in and around Muir High School.

A total of 27 trees were planted on that day.



American Forests made a second donation of $5,200 for the Community Releaf tree planting which took place on November 16th, 2013 in northwest Pasadena. Trees were planted on Washington Boulevard, Solita Road and Forest Avenue.

The event was attended by Scott Steen, President and CEO of American
Forests, Michael Beck, Pasadena City Manager, Siobhan Foster, the Public Works Director as well as many other city representatives and partners from Bank of America.



In April 2014, American Forests awarded Pasadena Beautiful a $10,000 grant
to do a Community Releaf project. The tree planting event took place on April 24th at Brookside Park with 33 volunteers from Bank of America as well as representatives from American Forests in Washington D.C. A total of 33 24″ box size trees were planted.

Recent Plantings

Pasadena Beautiful Day at Singer Park

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.

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Drought tolerant succulents planted around Singer Park sign.

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Recent Plantings

Santa Catalina Library Garden Project

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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.

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Recent Plantings

Pasadena Senior Center New Landscaping

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.

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Recent Plantings

Sidney F. Tyler Park

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.

We hope next year it will be spectacular.


Recent Plantings

Benches Installed

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.
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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.
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Bench in remembrance of Ted Behr at 575 South Orange Grove Boulevard.
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In remembrance of Bob Cheesewright at 170 South Lake Avenue installed 2008.
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A bench installed on Del Mar Avenue and Hudson by the Pasadena Unified School District in remembrance of Alice Frost Kennedy.
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Each bench has a plaque with the Pasadena Beautiful name and logo and the name of the person remembered.

In The News

Pasadena Windstorm 2011

In response to the major windstorm disaster, Pasadena Beautiful Foundation (PBF) in collaboration with the Pasadena Community Foundation (PCF), established the Pasadena Windstorm Tree Fund to raise funds for the purchase and re-planting of over 2000 street trees lost in Pasadena during this devastating windstorm.

The Pasadena Community Foundation (PCF) offered a $10,000 matching grant to PBF whose Board stepped up and raised $33,000 bringing the total to $43,000.

Every dollar donated to PBF was used for the sole purpose of re-planting trees. The City of Pasadena was appreciative and thankful that the two organizations worked together to make this possible.


On March 27th, 2012, The City of Pasadena, Pasadena Beautiful Foundation and The Pasadena Community Foundation came together at a ceremony to launch the re-planting of the first of 400 trees that was funded by the $43,000 contribution.  The entire amount was spent to pay for and plant 316 trees. In addition, funds were used to re-stake 135 trees that were toppled in the high winds.

The planting which began in early spring was concluded by November 28, 2012 close to the one year anniversary of that horrific storm. PBF completed it’s commitment to the planting of replacement trees that were downed or badly damaged by the 2011 windstorm that devastated many areas of Pasadena.  Additional trees that were damaged continue to be identified for removal and replaced.

This effort was led by Emina Darakjy, who selected all of the new trees, and coordinated with the City for the proper species and sites. Those of you who are tree enthusiasts, will like to know that some of the species were Quercus Agrifolia, Southern Magnolias, Chinese Elms, Camphors, Jacarandas, Southern Live Oaks and California Sycamores.

Home owners are encouraged to contact us with questions regarding street trees.  If you see a location where a new tree is needed, or perhaps one that is dying, please contact our office via email or phone with a few details, and we will make every effort to replace it.