Pasadena's Arroyo Seco is rich with history and heritage. From the original Hahamog'na inhabitants, to Spanish explorers, Mexican banditos, and Anglo American settlers and artists, many have traversed its banks and called it home. As the river along which our city was built, the Arroyo may be considered the birthplace of Pasadena. The Arroyo provided early Pasadena inhabitants with abundant natural resources. Its waters irrigated our early agriculture and orange groves, while its banks provided timber and grazing land for livestock. Its stream and woods yielded trout and plentiful game. Even today, Pasadena’s Arroyo remains an invaluable resource for local water supplies, recreation, wildlife habitat, and natural respite. I am fortunate to have grown up in Pasadena along the Arroyo’s edge. Among my fondest childhood memories are the times my mom took my brother and me to explore the Lower Arroyo. The lush trees, flowing water, swimming ducks and tadpoles excited our young imaginations. These childhood experiences in the Arroyo had a huge impact on me, and I can only describe them as magical. In my early twenties, I began enjoying runs along our Arroyo trails. As I spent more time exploring the Arroyo, however, I began noticing more trash, especially after large events. The trash, particularly plastic pollution, troubled me greatly and spurred me into action. I began volunteering with the Arroyo Seco Foundation, and led numerous trash cleanups and invasive plant removals over the years. Pasadena’s Arroyo is still beset with issues of deferred maintenance and overuse. Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek has recently stated that the Arroyo is being “over-loved.” The Arroyo Seco has become a regional recreational destination point, yet has over $80 million of approved yet unfunded improvement projects.
‘One Arroyo’ Walk with the Mayor Flyer
The City of Pasadena has spent millions to ensure the Rose Bowl Stadium remains financially viable, and has now turned its attention to the natural surroundings which make that stadium unique. The City has formed the Arroyo Advisory Group to address the long-term maintenance and stewardship of Pasadena’s Arroyo. The City of Pasadena and its surrounding communities deserve a pristine Arroyo Seco, with its natural splendor restored and protected. Public participation is crucial for this effort, and the AAG wants to hear your voice. What do you love about the Arroyo? What issues need to be addressed? What would you like changed? Please let us know at the first in a series of “One Arroyo” Walks with Mayor Tornek on Saturday, September 16th at 9:00 a.m. in Hahamonga Watershed Park. This event will be an opportunity to stroll through Hahamongna and participate in a lively conversation with the Mayor regarding opportunities to restore and enhance the Arroyo Seco. Now is our chance to chart the course for the future of the Arroyo. Working together, we can make that happen. Please follow our efforts, and join us for upcoming opportunities to make your voice heard. With community involvement, I am confident that this effort will lead to a truly great future for our Arroyo Seco. This article was originally published in ColoradoBoulevard.net.