Re-Rooting a Growing Tradition

It had been billed as an old-fashioned picnic and tree-planting in Pasadena's Arroyo Seco, reminiscent of bygone days when whole communities would turn out; such events endowed the nation with thousands of urban trees, many of which still stand today.

As it happened, the picnic was rained out, but the blustery weather didn't keep the Friends of the Arroyo Seco from going ahead with the scheduled tree-planting March 8, when 15 volunteers turned out with shovels and buckets to plant more than 300 trees.

The group's efforts were focused on a five-acre section of Lower Arroyo Seco Park that once served as an archery range. Over the years, it had become overrun with non-native grasses, and was targeted by the Friends of the Arroyo for restoration to a more natural state.

The city of Pasadena, under a grant from the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, provided the volunteers a variety of trees and shrubs common to the arroyo, including toyon, laurel sumac, coast live oak, coffee berry and sycamore.

And, of course, Mother Nature helped out by softening the soil with rain earlier in the week. Soaked volunteers toiled in the rain most of the day Saturday, returning with the sun the next day to complete the task.Los Angeles Times

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