In The News

Pasadena Community Foundation 2021 Grant

Pasadena Beautiful Foundation (PBF) has been awarded a 2021 Pasadena Community Foundation (PCF) Capital Grant for $16,250. We want to thank the PCF for this generous grant that will assist us in achieving our mission to restore, renew and protect Pasadena’s parks, urban forests, and public spaces. 

We are excited that this grant will support the re-planting of 25 cherry trees in Victory Park, in the Northeast area of the city. Many of the original Pink Cloud Cherry trees that were planted in the park in the early 2000 have been damaged. The new trees will be planted sometime early next year in time for spring blooms. Below are some photos when they are in full bloom. Stay tuned for more information on event regarding the re-planting. 

In The News

Commercial Design Award Ceremony 2021

On October 21st, Pasadena Beautiful Foundation awarded the Commercial Design Awards to 9 recipients from the city. The event was held at the Maxwell House, part of the Western Justice Center, at 55 South Grand Avenue.

Each recipient’s representative provided a background history of their design, thought process and effort that showcased their talent to create a beautiful environment for their building and public enjoyment.

Click here to see the main Commercial Design Award Page

In The News

City of Pasadena: Greywater Systems

Greywater is water from showers, bath tubs, washing machines, and bathroom sinks. Using greywater is an innovative way to reduce potable water use and flows to the sewer system. It provides for an efficient means to irrigate plants in your landscape, and provides natural groundwater recharge.

There are three types of greywater systems – Laundry-to-Landscape (L2L), Simple, and Complex greywater systems.

Laundry to Landscape

PWP offers an L2L Greywater Program due to their simplicity, affordability, and easy maintenance. L2L systems are the only type of greywater system that does not need a permit to be installed.

Watch this video to view testimonials from PWP customers who have successfully installed an L2L system in their home:

Simple Greywater Systems

Simple greywater systems exceed a Laundry-to-Landscape greywater system and have a discharge capacity of 250 gallons per day or less. Simple greywater systems collect water from bathtubs, showers, and bathroom washbasins for irrigation purposes. Simple greywater systems do not include wastewater from toilets, kitchen sinks or dishwashers. Simple greywater systems require a permit, design and inspection by the City of Pasadena Planning and Community Development Department, because construction and installation of simple greywater systems require cutting of the existing plumbing piping. PWP designed a streamlined permit process and a rebate for permit fees to ease the participation in Simple Greywater Program.

Getting Started with a Simple Greywater System

Step 1: Complete the Greywater Standard Plan application package 

  • Download the Greywater Standard Plan application package
  • Complete the application package and submit all the pages of the application package to [email protected] for initial review prior to obtaining a permit. PWP will review the application package for completeness, and you will be notified if the application needs any additional information.

Step 2: Obtain Permit

  • After PWP reviews the application for completeness, you are ready to submit the application to the Planning and Community Development Department to obtain a permit before installing the greywater system. The Permit Center is located at 175 N. Garfield Ave in Pasadena, Monday-Thursday 8am to 5pm, and Friday 8am to 12pm. You can submit your application package in person at the permit counter. For more information visit the Permit Center site or call 626.744.6646.

Step 3: Install the System and Schedule a Post Inspection

  • Once you have received your permit you are ready to install the system. Contact the Building and Safety Department at (626)744-4655 to schedule a post inspection. The inspectors will verify that the system conforms to building codes.

Step 4: Request the Rebate for the Permit Fees

  • Submit the copy of the building final inspection sign-off to [email protected]
  • You will receive a rebate of up to $200 for your permit fees

Source: City of Pasadena Website

In The News

Pasadena Beautiful Fall Update

Come Join Us!

Pasadena Beautiful is delighted that fall is finally here.  We are looking forward to cooler crisp days and excited to resume our Wednesday Weeders activities.  

Our first fall meeting is on Wednesday, October 6th, from 8:30 to 9:30 am. at Singer Park at the corner of St. John and California Boulevard near the Huntington Hospital.  Please come join us and other volunteers to help prune, clip, trim, pick-up trash and to spruce up the park.  Just show up with your hat, water bottle and clippers for one hour a week.  It is a great way to start your day, meet our Board members and at the same time make an impact on keeping Pasadena beautiful.  

Please mark your calendar for our Commercial Design Awards which will be held on Thursday, October 21st from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. at the historic Maxwell House, Western Justice Center on 55 South Grand Avenue in Pasadena. 12 awards will be presented to commercial organizations that have incorporated outstanding landscape designs in their projects.  Those which have included creative uses of drought tolerant plants and irrigation systems.  Please check our website for more information closer to date.

We are looking forward to seeing you!

Brad Hanson, President

In The News

Two New Board Members

A resident of Pasadena since 1999, Michael grew up in La Crescenta and graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in Business Administration. He served on the board of BCR A Place to Grow for over 25 years, including stints as Chairperson and Treasurer. BCR provides services for the developmentally disabled. He recently retired from a career in commercial banking.

Dr. Stephen J. Thornton has been involved in academia in various positions and capacities his whole life. He began his career in teaching in Australia.  He was the Professor of Social Science Education at the University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida and since retired.  He was also previously the Associate Professor and Assistant Professor of Education at the Teachers College, Columbia University and University of Delaware respectively.  He has also extensively published books and articles on social studies. 

We are excited to have them both on our Board and believe their background and expertise in their fields will bring a great perspective to our organization. 

Brad Hanson, President

Events Recent Plantings

Arbor Day 2021

For 2021 the city decided to hold a scaled down version of Arbor Day on May 27th without volunteers doing the work and asked Pasadena Beautiful to donate one large tree to be planted by staff. 

A 48 inch box-sized Quercus virginiana commonly known as southern live oak was planted at Defenders’ Park by the city crew.  PBF Executive Board attended the ceremony after it was planted. 

In The News

In The News: Pasadena Commemorates National Public Works Week And Arbor Day This Month

Published on Thursday, May 20, 2021 | 10:38 am,

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.

In The News

New Board Member

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:

In The News

In The News: Brad Hanson, Pasadena Beautiful: Colorado Street Bridge Barrier Options Impair Views, Degrade Walking Experience

Published on Thursday, April 1, 2021, Published on

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.

Please visit

Fill out the survey and give your input at the end of the site.

Also hear Brad Hanson talk about the bridge on KPCC’s AirTalk with Larry Mantle.

In The News

In The News: Hefty cost for moving trees on protected land

From The LA Times, May 10, 2019

In The News

In The News: Seeing Green (July/August 2019)

In The News

In The News: The Undervalued Trees of LA

In The News

In The News: Residents Honored at Golden Arrow Ceremony (May 30, 2019)

In The News

In The News: New Trees Planted for Arbor Day (April 6, 2017)

Events Recent Plantings

Arbor Day 2019

Join us on Saturday to Plant Trees!

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.

Events Recent Plantings

Parsons Plant Transplant Project

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.

In The News

In The News: Our trees are worth the investment to keep them

From West Pasadena Residents’ Association, “The News” Fall 2016:in-the-news-nov-2016

In The News

In The News: Transition Pasadena will fix it up for you


Events Recent Plantings

GroWorks Project 2015

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.

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.