By Mary O’KEEFE
Community members will notice some activity on the corner of Rosemont and Orange avenues. This area known as Crescenta Commons is getting ready for some big changes.
Several years ago the issue of what to do with this vacant piece of land just east of Monte Vista Elementary School was discussed at a Crescenta Valley Town Council meeting.
“It all started as an idea from Ines Chessum who was at a [CVTC] meeting,” said CVTC President Robbyn Battles.
Chessum, a local architect, and council members began discussions on what could be done to turn this piece of dirt- and rock-filled land into something more pleasing. Then along came a Boy Scout willing to begin the project with the help of Chessum, the Council and the support of Supervisor Michael Antonovich.
The beautification project continues to move forward and on Wednesday rocks were cleared and the area prepared for the installation of a chain-link fence that would separate the residence that butts up against the lot.
The fence is a safety measure, Battles said.
“The County expects to have the fence [in place] by the end of the month,” Battles said.
There is also grading that will need to be done before more work is undertaken.
The plan for the area will reflect all that is La Crescenta including pine trees, parks and rocks.
“There will be four or five benches … and there is going to be a sundial,” she said.
In addition to the sundial, there will be decorative boulders and different colored decomposed granite as part of the design as well as drought tolerant plants, a stone wall and a stone monument.
There are several ways the community can help including volunteering and donating money. Days to volunteer are being scheduled.
There is a lot of work to do to get Crescenta Commons from the planning stage to completion. CVTC and its Crescenta Commons Committee have planned clearing, clean up and planting days.
“We will have a rock harvesting day at Deukmejian Wilderness Park,” Battles said.
One of the reasons the Crescenta Commons has taken a while to begin construction is the amount of permits that are required for the plan; however, Battles has arranged all the paperwork, including a rock harvesting permit, and everything is ready to begin.
“For our volunteer days we will need a trailer to haul rocks, pour concrete for the benches, masonry, planting and so much more,” said Battles.
Along the way she said there have been so many people who have supported the Crescenta Commons project including Sussy Nemer from Supervisor Michael Antonovich’s office, Adel Vizcarra, L.A. County Public Works Fifth District Planning deputy and Boy Scouts.
Battles also credits the Crescenta Commons Committee, including CVTC member Frank Beyt, for staying with the project and the La Crescenta based Creative Concepts.
“And Ines [Chessum] has stayed with us the entire time,” Battles said.
In addition to volunteers, the project also needs donations and trees because the planners want to replace a couple of pine trees that had died and were removed from the lot earlier, and olive trees. They do need boulders and the sundial construction.
Battles has been meeting with several community members and local businesses to try to get needed items and skills donated, but knows there will still be costs. Looking as a way to raise funds, Battles and the committee is proposing selling decorative tiles that will be incorporated into the final design.
“[The purchaser] will be able to put a name or a message to the community [on the tile],” Battles said.
The work days and donation opportunities will be posted on the CVTC website, www.cvcouncil.com. For information contact CVTC President Robbyn Battles at firstname.lastname@example.org or attend the CVTC meetings held at the La Crescenta Library Community Room, 2809 Foothill Blvd. at 7 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month.