Arroyo Seco Foundation

Reforesting the San Gabriel Mountains

Eager volunteers gather in the San Gabriel Mountains to receive training from project manager Thierry Rivard.

Fall 2017 -The San Gabriel Mountains Reforestation Program (SGMR) set out to "Restore, Engage, Connect, Educate, Foster Stewardship and Research" in the Angeles National Forest and San Gabriel Mountains. Working closely with the US Forest Service, TreePeople and several educational institutions and community organizations, the Arroyo Seco Foundation this Spring conducted 29 volunteer events and amassed almost 2,300 hours of volunteer work, largely meeting these objectives and surpassing most of our quantitative goals to implement a medium scale restoration effort that included planting of more than 2,500 trees and native plants, the removal of invasive plants over four acres of the forest, and studying the impact of these activities through monitoring and surveys. Much of the credit for our accomplishments goes to Thierry Rivard, ASF's project manager.

More than 500 volunteers,
2500 trees planted,
2300 hours of donated labor!

We did extensive outreach to engage local communities, especially youth, in the Los Angeles area and San Gabriel Valley and provided a diversified range of volunteer opportunities, such as invasive plant removal, planting of trees and shrubs, tree care, and seed collection. More than five hundred volunteers were recruited and trained to appreciate the vital role of the local watershed in the nearby range of mountains. They learned about its vital services and functions and how to become active stewards of the land. The Arroyo Seco Foundation is pleased with the results of the program and hopes to continue this work.

Thanks to all the volunteers and to the National Forest Fundation, the US Forest Service and TreePeople for all the help and support they provided.

The slopes were often steep, the soil rocky.

Mulching is an important part of tree care, which this program emphasized. It makes a big difference.

Removing invasive species that can often out-compete native trees and plants is a key part of site preparation and tree care.

We tested Cocoons, which provide a small reservoir to nourish the new plantings, on some of the trees and plants. They worked well to improve the survival rate.

If you would like to get involved in future tree-planting and habitat restoration programs, let us know at