Volunteers Flood the Arroyo Seco

Having Fun in the ArroyoOn Saturday, May 6th nearly 50 volunteers of all ages and sizes made their way to the Arroyo Seco to participate in La Gran Limpieza or the Great CleanUp, the biggest river cleanup in the country. In its 17th year, La Gran Limpieza is an event to haul trash out the Los Angeles River. This year, the Arroyo Seco Foundation teamed up the City of Pasadena and Friends of the Los Angeles River to bring Limpieza to the Arroyo Seco. TrashThe Arroyo was one of fourteen locations along the LA River that got a thorough scrubbing.

The volunteers worked in a short reach of the Arroyo from the southern side of Brookside Park to the Colorado Street Bridge. This is the natural area beneath the three bridges (Holly Street, 134 Freeway, and Colorado Street) where the Arroyo stream has never been lined with concrete. Arroyo Antics

Although this spot is full of trees and lush riparian habitat, trash accumulates here from the Central Arroyo area and the concrete flood channel just to the north. Volunteers scoured the stream zone and trees, picking through branches to grab the plastic that was wrapped around them. Aside from two shopping carts and some metal and wood debris, most of the trash picked up was plastic or styrofoam.

This area also benefited from a major restoration program last year in which harmful exotic species of trees and shrubs where removed to enhance the quality of riparian (river) habitat. The boldly colored wildflowers blooming through the area were evidence of the dramatic effects of that program.

TestAs the volunteers worked, hikers and joggers perambulating the Arroyo shouted out encouragement and thanks. This was truly a day to give back to the Arroyo for those who know it, and for the newcomers it was a chance to get to know one of our region's most beautiful natural resources.


photos by Jeff Chapman

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Looking for a way to get involved in the Arroyo Seco restoration? Here it is! Join the Arroyo Seco Stream Team

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