Trails Council is honored

Roughly 40 years after starting a trail and just a few months after finishing it, a handful of La Cañadans have been recognized for their role in creating a one-of-a-kind feature for residents and visitors: the 12-mile nature trail that circles the city and connects to trails in county and federal parklands.

The California Trails Conference Foundation, a nonprofit that works with the California Department of Parks and Recreation, offered its Award for a Project (Construction), a top award, to members of the La Cañada Flintridge Trails Council at the 27th annual California Trails and Greenways Conference last month.

The Trails Council is the local association of nature-loving locals that has helped propel La Cañada's trail efforts since incorporation in 1976. Members on hand for the award ceremony on April 19 included President Ted Stork and members Randy Strapazon, Mary Barrie and Liz Blackwelder.

“It is actually is a big deal in the trail world,” Strapazon said. “The state gives out an award for a particularly long-term effort … and not many people have a 40-year effort that comes to fruition.”

In March 2011 the council completed the last link in the trail, a roughly 800-foot pathway between Verdugo Boulevard and Descanso Drive. The 12-mile trail winds between residential properties as it connects with other trails in Cherry Canyon, Hahamongna Watershed Park and the Angeles National Forest.

California Trails Conference Foundation Secretary and Treasurer John Kolb said the final 800-foot stretch — dubbed the Trails Council Link — is a fitting finish.

“It was a significant link for a trail that was talked about for 40 years, and worked on with easements and rights of way and land permission issues,” he said. “It was a heroic effort to close that link. People stuck with it, and that really impressed me.”

Ann Wilson, senior management analyst for La Cañada Flintridge and the city's liaison with the Trails Council over the past decade, said that the city wrote a letter to support the Trails Council's nomination.

The city was honored by the Trails and Greenways Conference seven years ago for its work building the part of the loop trail that crosses the Foothill (210) Freeway. Now that the loop is complete, Wilson said, it is great to see the Trails Council recognized for its role in the effort.

“From the beginning it was a partnership,” she said. “That's why we wanted to name that last piece of it the Trails Council Link. It was to recognize the fact that none of this would have happened … without their vision.”

Copyright © 2019, La Cañada Valley Sun
EDITION: California | U.S. & World