By Maddy PUMILIA
La Cañada Trails has created the Ultimate Destination Point.
Dubbed an oasis on the Cherry Canyon hiking trail, the Ultimate Destination Point is a project proposed over a decade ago that is estimated to be complete in June. The area will include a water fountain for people and a water bubbler for horses and the area will be shaded with native oak trees.
Liz Blackwelder is 93 and a founding member of the La Cañada Flintridge Trails Council, which protects, preserves and maintains trails. She first suggested the Ultimate Destination 10 years ago.
“It was a long desire of mine to bring water to the area,” Blackwelder said. “Everybody thought it was a good idea. Nobody wanted to see how much it was going to cost [though].”
Blackwelder wasn’t about to let the idea fade away.
“I just kept talking to the city about it,” she said. “Finally, in order to get their attention, I gave them a check for $35,000.”
That was in 2008. The total project costs an estimated $136,000 with much of it coming from donors. The La Cañada Flintridge Trails Council board donated $1,500. The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy approved a grant of $20,000 and Southern California Edison donated $5,000 to the trails council and the trails council is donating that same amount to the city. On Feb. 5, a grant for $30,000 from Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich was approved.
The City of La Cañada Flintridge will provide an estimated $44,150 to complete the funding. Cherry Canyon, approximately 131 acres in size, is located in the hills behind Descanso Gardens, south of the Foothill (210) Freeway, in the City of La Cañada Flintridge.
“Cherry Canyon is a beautiful spot,” Blackwelder said. “It is totally owned by the city. Because the city owns it outright, they can control what is done and the trails that are made and that are protected and repaired.”
Cherry Canyon, which is off of Hampstead road, is the first water for consumption in La Cañada with the exception of Hahamongna Watershed Park, which is managed by Pasadena.
“I think the city is going to make it a very beautiful spot,” Blackwelder said.
“The project is intended to create an oasis,” said Ann Wilson, the senior management analyst for La Cañada Flintridge. “It’s going to be a wonderful project. We’re very happy about it finally happening.”