La Gran Limpieza a Gran Success!

The Arroyo Seco Foundation was proud to host the Arroyo Seco site for Friends of the Los Angeles River’s 19th annual “La Gran Limpieza” stream cleanup. This past Saturday marked the 3rd year in a row that the ASF has hosted the Pasadena site for this event. Attendance was double that in previous years, as more than 200 people made it out despite the record heat.

Knowing that there was not an excessive amount of trash in the Arroyo Seco stream due to recent cleanup activity, Arroyo Seco site supervisor Andy Byrne added a new component to the event; invasive species removal. Volunteer efforts were divided between picking up trash from the stream bed and using shovels to dig out the invasive tree of heaven, fan palm, pampas grass, and arundo. These invasive species have a negative effect on native plant species and the soil of the arroyo.

Girl Scout troops and student groups from all over the Los Angeles area were out in high numbers on the sunny Saturday morning. Upon arriving at the registration site, these volunteers were greeted by the upbeat sound of bluegrass music, provided by the Bluegrass Billionaires. This local group donated their time to kick off the event and greet cleanup participants as they went through the registration process.

By the end of the morning, 150 bags had been filled with trash and invasive species. Water that had been stagnant due to accumulations of trash now flows freely through this beautiful area. The ASF is going to make sure that such large amounts of trash do not make it back into the Arroyo Seco stream. Over the next few weeks, construction of the Central Arroyo Stream Restoration Program will begin. A partnership between the ASF & the City of Pasadena, the program will greatly reduce the amount of trash that makes it into the Arroyo Seco stream. Over the next few months, the City of Pasadena will install 400 full capture trash inserts in storm drains leading into the stream. These inserts will stop the trash before it enters the stream. Thanks to the great effort by the 200+ volunteers that came out this past weekend, the Arroyo Seco will stay clean for a long time.

For more information regarding volunteer cleanups or the Central Arroyo Stream Restoration Program, please contact: Andy Byrne, Arroyo Seco Foundation, (323) 405-7326,

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