By Mary O’KEEFE
After meetings with community members, fundraisers and outreach of every form, the Arroyos & Foothills Conservancy has raised enough money to acquire the eight acres of open-space land known as the Rosemont Preserve. In an effort to thank those who supported the Rosemont Preserve and to those who want to be part of the land’s future, the conservancy is hosting a celebration on June 30.
The day will begin with volunteer habitat restoration at 8:30 a.m. and continue with docent-led tours of the land at 10:15 a.m. Those who wish to be part of the habitat restoration are asked to RSVP by emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (626) 796-0782.
The land that sits atop of Rosemont Avenue was at one time thought to be a developed for a new school. Terri Villanueva, owner of The Learning Castle and La Cañada Preparatory, purchased the land in 2005. The family came to the Crescenta Valley Town Council meeting and spoke to the community of their plans. Neighbors were concerned about the school project.
“When we first purchased [the property], our intention was to build a school,” said Justin Whalin, Villanueva’s son, in an earlier CVW interview. “But the community was not completely behind [that choice].”
That is when the Arroyos & Foothills Conservancy stepped in.
“The property had been on [the Arroyos & Foothills Conservancy radar] for about four years,” said La Crescenta resident Paul Rabinov, a conservancy board member.
The Villanueva family has been part of the community for 20 years and respected its residents. They also loved the property and after realizing the community did not want the development, they agreed to sell the property to the conservancy.
The AFC went to community members and Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich’s for support and funding. Antonovich gave $350,000 and the community contributed the rest.
For those who want to take part in Saturday’s festivities, it should be noted that there is no parking at the site. In respect to the local residents, there is no parking on the street near the Preserve. Those who would like to attend are advised to park at Two Strike Park and walk to the Rosemont Preserve.