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Arroyo Seco Foundation

News of the Arroyo


Plans, Funds for First Phase of ‘One Arroyo' Restoration Approved


Local planning group already moving forward with ideas to restore and rehabilitate Arroyo Seco watershed area




<b>July 18, 2017</b> - The Arroyo Advisory Group presented its first report-back to the Pasadena City Council on Monday night, outlining their plans and process to promoting "One Arroyo."


Eddie Rivera, Community Editor


Pasadena Now


Moving forward on Mayor Terry Tornek’s January “State of the City” vow to reemphasize the importance of the Arroyo Seco, the City Council Monday evening approved a $350,000 budget as the first phase of “One Arroyo,” a historic restoral, renewal and rehabilitation of the watershed area in and around the area of the Rose Bowl.

As articulated in a presentation by Co-Chairs Bill Bogaard and Pasadena attorney Doug Kranwinkle, a prestigious 20-member committee called the Arroyo Advisory Group (AAG) has been meeting since February to bring life to the ambitious plan.

Bogaard and Kranwinkel also revealed the group’s draft vision statement: “Pasadena’s great outdoor space, the historic Arroyo Seco, will become One Arroyo. From the headwaters in the north to the tributaries in the south, its natural habitats, resources, and historic sites will be preserved, enhanced, and connected by an extraordinary end-to-end trail system, all anchored by a central hub.”

Said Mayor Terry Tornek following the presentation and council discussion, “I am extremely enthusiastic and very optimistic about this plan, adding, “People will be excited. We are on the cusp of recapturing the magic of the Arroyo.”

Gordo, who seconded Councilmember John Kennedy’s motion to approve the plan, agreed with the mayor, saying, “This is Pasadena’s one great space.”

Along with the new plan, a City staff report revealed that there are also plans afoot by the National Park Service to add the Arroyo to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, as well as a potential habitat restoration project by the Army Corps of Engineers that would remove the concrete channel running through the Arroyo and replace it with a re-naturalized streambed.

The new effort will be managed by the Rose Bowl Operating Company and City staff and HR&A consulting group, which has been involved in several similar efforts around the country, including the development of the High Line and Brooklyn Bridge Park in New York, The Anacostia Waterfront·in Washington D.C. and an analysis of the Dallas park system, according to the City’s report.

But, as Bogaard told the council, “Without funding, all of our goals will fall short.”

The AAG has since formed four committees—Vision, to develop a single vision statement that would serve as a touchstone for the effort; Community Outreach and Engagement, to inform various Pasadena constituencies about the effort and receive public input; Financial Planning, to explore sustainable means of funding, and develop a proposed budget to carry the effort through the balance of the calendar year; and Projects and Priorities, to review possible projects that implement the new vision.

The Community Outreach and Engagement committee has already presented at three Pasadena community meetings: the West Pasadena Residents Association’s annual meeting, the East Arroyo Residents Association meeting and a district meeting hosted by Councilmember McAustin. Plans are also being made for presentations at other Council District meetings as well as with other Pasadena groups.

The Financial Planning committee, while concerned with identifying a long-term sustainable funding strategy to enhance the Arroyo, according to the City staff report, has focused in the early stages on developing a budget and funding plan to sustain the AAG’s initial consultation, planning and outreach efforts through the balance of the 2017 calendar year. The committee will also assess a broad spectrum of sources for both capital and operating funding for the long-term.

The Projects and Priorities committee reviewed the extensive list of projects previously approved by the City Council in various plans for the Arroyo as well as taken under consideration other projects suggested by AAG members or received through initial public input. The purpose of this review was to identify one or more existing or potential projects that would create interest on the part of the community, including possible funders.

The AAG, according to the presentation, has set into motion the concept of an end­ to-end trail system throughout the Arroyo “to serve as a unifying feature upon which to weave together the history, features and uses of the Arroyo.” The trail system would encompass current plans and new elements to create a single loop for the Arroyo Seco; ensure access for different abilities and modes of use; involve the repair of existing trails and stone walls; and include a comprehensive signage system.

At the conclusion of six months, the consultant team will deliver a final summary trail concept and implementation strategy report which will include up to three fully developed trail concept alternatives and with associated estimated capital and operating costs and strategies for funding and management.

The staff report also recommended two additional sources of funding, the first being $250,000 from the Rose Bowl Operating Company Rose Bowl Fund, provided as part of the agreement to host the Coldplay concert at the Rose Bowl Stadium on October 6, 2017 , along with funds from the recently completed Arroyo Seco Weekend, which allocated $1.00 per ticket
The $350,000 budget approved Monday covered the initial Trail Concept which would include Landscape Architect & Specialist Consultants at $265,000, Outreach and Engagement at $30,000, and Project Management & Facilitation at $35,000, along with a contingency of $20,000.

The initial trail concept to be reported back to City Council in November, will include the development of an existing conditions study & report, three trail concept alternatives with recommendations to enhance the trail experience a capital cost estimation, and funding strategy development for both operations and capital.

The RBOC will manage the project and maintain records of expenditures of the funds. The RBOC General Manager and City Manager’s Office will work in consultation with Public Works to undertake the selection process for a consultant and oversee the study, and as well with the Finance Department to ensure compliance with city codes.

AAG will hold a community wide meeting for public input July 25 at the Pasadena Conference Center, 300 West Green Street, room 106 at 7 p.m.

More information on the “One Arroyo” plan is available at




Arroyo Seco Foundation, PO Box 91622, Pasadena, CA 91109-1622 (323) 405-7326