By Marissa GOULD, intern
Ben and Bambi Hale had moved into a hillside neighborhood at the top of Rosemont Avenue so that they could be closer to nature. But the empty land near them had been purchased and plans were for it to be developed. The couple hated the idea of the beautiful wilderness being replaced by concrete buildings, so they donated to the Arroyos & Foothills Conservancy to help save those hillsides.
They weren’t the only ones to help either; hundreds of La Crescenta residents offered financial support to secure the undeveloped land at the top of Rosemont Avenue ensuring that it would never be developed. Over the course of several months, enough money was raised to purchase the land and today the unspoiled area has become the Rosemont Preserve overseen by the Arroyos & Foothills Conservancy.
The Rosemont Preserve encompasses about eight acres with a half-mile hiking trail that borders a flood control channel. Because the flood control channel is so near, the preserve can’t be open without volunteers on stand-by constantly. This doesn’t really pose a problem though because a primary purpose of the preserve is to have volunteers onsite to educate visitors on the local plant life and wildlife that inhabits the hills surrounding the Crescenta Valley. The visitors range from families to elementary students on a school field trip. The docents conduct guided tours and take groups on a hiking trail that snakes its way around the property. At random intervals, signposts have been installed that number from one to 10 so that the tour guide can stop and explain what types of local plants the visitors are seeing. Sometimes animals come by as well – a deer with two fawns were seen by a group of third graders last week.
In addition to the tours, the Friends of Rosemont also want to have an outdoor garden near the entrance to the preserve and set up an outdoor classroom to further educate visitors. Luckily, local Eagle Scouts help out with these projects.
Typically, tours are offered twice a month to the general public. However any group that contacts Friends of the Rosemont Preserve at email@example.com can arrange a private tour.