By Agnes CONSTANTE
At the end of May, community members pledged enough money to create the Rosemont Preserve, a 7.75-acre portion of land located above Rosemont Avenue.
Saving the area cost $450,000 and fundraising efforts throughout the past few months have paid off, as the Arroyos & Foothills Conservancy website reports that it has acquired more money than what was originally planned.
In the earlier stages of fundraising for the project, Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich secured $350,000 in county funding for the project. A $5,000 donation also came from the Crescenta Valley Group of the Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club. Assemblymen Mike Gatto and Anthony Portantino also helped by securing money from the Wells Fargo Foundation.
La Crescenta residents Desiree and Paul Rabinov also pledged $15,000, as stated on the conservancy’s website.
Paul, who has served on the conservancy board for two years, was actively involved in outreach during the fundraising process, along with La Crescenta resident Steve Pierce. Paul donated to the project because he said he recognized what an asset the property as a preserve would be for the community.
“This is a property purchased by a conservancy but really for the benefit of this community,” he said, “and I care deeply about this community.”
Pierce contributed to the preserve because he did not want to see the area of land undergo development.
“I’ve lived here for over 42 years, and my wife grew up in this area. When I look up the hills and see the mountains, it just makes me feel very glad to live in this community,” he sa
Specific plans for the preserve have yet to be determined, but its main purpose will be for education.
“We’ll bring kids out to the property and they’ll help restore it, but at the same time they’ll be learning about the difference between a native plant and an invasive plant, how to monitor and ensure the invasive plants don’t come back, so it’s an ongoing program for the property. It’s a tremendous hands-on educational opportunity,” said John Howell, executive director and general counsel at the conservancy.
There will also be docent-led tours and scouting, but the programs and activities that take place in the area will depend largely on input from the community.
Additional donations for the Rosemont Preserve came from a group of 9-year-old students from Mountain Avenue Elementary School that raised nearly $1,900 through T-shirt sales and contributions.
“[Our principal] Rebeca Witt has been so supportive of the girls and really helpful, and the teachers are really excited that they might be able to use the property, too,” said Barbara Nielsen, parent volunteer for the Mountain Avenue Committed to Kids foundation.
Although the property for the preserve has been purchased, it still requires funding for further operations. Howell said an entity will be created to encourage continued community involvement in the project, as there is no separate source of income to support programs on the preserve.
“We really are going to depend heavily on people in the community to help us manage the property,” Howell said.
A grand opening for the preserve will be held on June 30 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Anyone interested in helping with the project can contact John Howell at (626) 796-0782 and email@example.com.
More information about the preserve is available at