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Not At All Common

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Photo by Robin GOLDSWORTHY The previously barren land that sat to the east of Monte Vista Elementary School at Orange and Rosemont avenues is now an inviting oasis.

Photo by Robin GOLDSWORTHY
The previously barren land that sat to the east of Monte Vista Elementary School at Orange and Rosemont avenues is now an inviting oasis.

The newly completed Crescenta Commons will be dedicated on Saturday and the community is invited.

By Mary O’KEEFE

Residents of La Crescenta often refer to their community as “Rock Crescenta” and no one knows that better than those who have been working on the Crescenta Commons. On Saturday, all of the time and labor will be recognized at the Crescenta Commons dedication.

The ceremony will include a brief history of how the Crescenta Commons came to be and how the community rallied around the project. There will also be a time capsule buried on the site for a future generation to discover. The capsule will be filled with items brought by those in attendance on Saturday.

The Crescenta Commons is located at the corner of Rosemont and Orange avenues. For years it was a vacant lot with not much more than dried vegetation. The area, just east of Monte Vista Elementary School, needed a lot of work.

“In July, (the Crescenta Valley Town Council) voted to form a committee to complete the project,” said President Robbyn Battles. By August the first workdays began.

The community stepped up to help and now the lot has gone from barren land to something that reflects the neighborhood and the community itself.

From the beginning there seemed to be someone working on something at the Crescenta Commons.

“We literally had hundreds of volunteers who donated their time, their energy and their money to this project,” Battles said. “And the Supervisor [Los Angeles Supervisor Michael Antonovich] – if it wasn’t for the Supervisor’s office this could not have been done.”

Creative Concepts was also an integral part of the project. Representatives worked with the CVTC committee including council member Frank Beyts, local architect Ines Chessum and Battles to come up with a design and then to set a completion date.

From concept to completion took about three-and-a-half years; however, the wait was well worth it. Crescenta Commons features a walkway lined with stones, California native plants, a bench and a tower sundial. As a way to raise funds for the completion of the project, residents and organizations bought tiles that will be forever part of the Commons.

“We have sold all the tiles,” Battles said.

There will also be a glass-enclosed case that will contain a community bulletin board.

“We will put notices of fire danger or community calendar events,” Battles said.

She realized that after the completion of the project it would have to be maintained. Once again she reached out to the community, this time to younger residents.

“I went to the principal at Monte Vista (Suzanne Risse) and said I wanted kids to have a stake in the [Crescenta Commons],” Battles said.

The kids will be the keepers of the Commons; they are tasked with keeping it clean and taking care of the plants.

Battles received 25 handwritten applications from those who wanted to be part of the new Crescenta Commons Kids.

“Now they will take ownership,” she said.

At Saturday’s event, the Crescenta Commons Kids will be on hand to help with the dedication.

Battles invites everyone to bring an item that depicts life in Crescenta Valley for the time capsule.

The event begins at 9 a.m.

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