Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Many things - important things - are difficult to accomplish. This one is easy. All you have to do is let your voice be heard. If you want to preserve habitat and support your Nature Park, write, call or email South Pasadena city council members and let them know that you do not want the golf course driving range extended into the habitat directly adjacent to the park. (You do not have to be a resident of So Pas to let your voice be heard.)
  • Emails should be written to the specific councilman, but sent via the city clerk, Sally Kilby:
  • To leave a phone message call: 626-403-7218, press 1 for Cacciotti, 2 for Ten, 3 for Putnam, 4 for Schneider and 5 for Sifuentes.
Things are moving quickly. The draft agenda for the April 6th city council meeting has the council voting on whether to extend the driving range. Please come to this meeting (April 6, agenda items can be moved around at the last minute so please arrive early). Let the city council know that you disagree or before you know it the land will be graded, trees either removed or damaged, and birds, lizards, and insects will be looking for a new home.

The following is a letter I faxed to the city. Feel free to modify it or use it as is (with your own name on it, of course), but please, let your city representatives know how you feel.

March 30, 2011

South Pasadena City Council
1414 Mission Street
South Pasadena, CA 91030
PHONE (626) 403-7200; FAX (626) 403-7211

To: Michael Cacciotti, Philip Putnam, Richard Schneider, David Sifuentes, Mike Ten

I am opposed to the extension of the golf course driving range and would like to see the habitat on the eastern side of the Nature Park protected and added to the park. Converting the property into turf will worsen pollution at our beaches by increasing toxic runoff into the Arroyo Seco, while decreasing much needed riparian habitat.

On April 6th please vote to protect habitat by rejecting the request to extend the golf course driving range.


Barbara Eisenstein
Founder, Friends of the South Pasadena Nature Park
1852 Monterey Road
South Pasadena, CA 91030

Mature western sycamore that is at risk if the golf course driving range is extended


Friday, March 18, 2011


Just wanted to let everyone know that we are hoping that city council and the city manager will be at the park this Saturday (3/19/2011) at 9 AM to view the land between the park and the golf course driving range. Please attend and let them know how you feel (see below and below).

Yes it may rain. I will send an email if the meeting is canceled and will post on this blog and facebook. Feel free to email me if you have questions:

Hope to see you tomorrow!

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Members of the city council may be coming to the Nature Park this month. They have been discussing the possibility of allowing the golf course to extend the driving range into the small piece of land that acts as a buffer between the Nature Park and the driving range (you can see my thoughts on this below).

It is very important that those who oppose this come to the cleanup and let your representatives know how you feel. I am not sure what time they will be there, but I think it would be a good idea to arrive at 9.

As always:

Meet at the park info sign on Pasadena Ave and then head down into the park. The group will pull weeds, pick up litter, and enjoy the park. Come for the whole time, for an hour, or just stop by to say hello.

Nature Park entrance on Pasadena Ave., east of the York St. Bridge

Remember to:
- wear sunscreen, hat, sunglasses
- bring water
- bring gardening gloves and tools (weeders, trowels, whatever you use in your own garden)
- comfortable work clothes, including work shoes (sneakers or boots)
- binoculars for bird watching (optional)

Children must be under adult supervision at all times. There is poison oak in the park, which we will point out before we start.

Please pass this info along to anyone else you think might be interested in the park. If you know of anyone who doesn't use the internet, let me know so we can be sure they are kept in the loop.
See you soon!

April 9, 2011

Sunday, March 6, 2011

City Council considers extending golf course

Last week I learned that the South Pasadena City Council is considering extending the golf course driving range into the piece of land adjacent to the Nature Park. (Item 6 on the Closed Session Agenda).

It had been hoped that the land would become part of the park providing a buffer between the park and the golf course. I spoke at the public comment period on Wednesday, March 2nd prior to the closed session meeting.

My opposition to this proposal is based on the following considerations:
  1. If the driving range (see map below) is extended there will be a tall fence adjacent to the path that goes down to the Sycamore Circle. The view from the Sycamore Circle will not be of an oak woodland (which it would become if weeds were removed and the existing trees were allowed to thrive), but of an unnaturally green field behind a tall fence.
  2. There are several beautiful native trees in this fenced area including a large, mature western sycamore (Platanus racemosa) and several coast live oaks (Quercus agrifolia) of different sizes and ages. Even if the trees are not removed, the change to the land and the future requirement of ongoing irrigation, particularly in the summer, would likely be detrimental to the trees.
  3. Converting this land into turf will increase water usage and urban runoff into the Arroyo Seco. It is a direct, downhill slope from the property to the Arroyo. Whether it is recycled or potable water, it will require an increase in water usage. Recycled water usually has more salts than potable water and may endanger any trees that receive runoff or direct irrigation. Runoff into the Arroyo Seco from irrigation of turf with recycled or potable water is definitely a concern and may require an EIR (Environmental Impact Report), or at least notification to the California Regional Water Quality Control Board.
  4. The city promotes itself as a “Tree City” and requires residents to go through an arduous and expensive process to remove trees, especially California natives. If it were necessary to remove any of the trees in that parcel to accommodate the driving range activity, this would leave the city open to criticism of having a double standard when it comes to its policy on the value and protection of urban canopy. Project managers sometimes agree to move trees from effected areas as a form of mitigation. This practice has been shown to be ineffective and expensive. It is a waste of money and worse than just chopping down trees with no mitigation at all.
  5. The city sets a bad example by increasing turf when the public is being told to reduce water usage by removing lawn.
  6. Looking at a map of the park land along the Arroyo Seco in South Pasadena, the small southwest tip (shaded in blue and red on the map below) is the only habitat that can be enjoyed by the public. It should also be noted that a large portion of the Nature Park is actually on LA City land (the extreme western tip, shaded in red) so that South Pasadena land dedicated to natural habitat is even smaller.
Members of the South Pasadena City Council may be coming to the Nature Park for the next Friends of the Nature Park cleanup on Saturday, March 19th. It would be helpful if you could spread the word to anyone who might oppose the golf course extension. Ask them to contact the city council and to attend the March 19th cleanup to let them know in person how they feel.