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Arroyo Seco Foundation

News of the Arroyo


Pasadena Nature Lovers Join Mayor Tornek on Hike, Brainstorm Future Arroyo Trail Improvements





<b>September 29, 2017</b> - Mayor Tornek leads a walk along a little-know trail on the west side of the Arroyo just north of Washington Blvd. This is the second in a series of walks led by the Mayor to promote increased appreciation and support for the Arroyo.


Brandon Villalobos


Pasadena Now


Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek lead a group of local residents on Thursday morning along what seemed like a secret trail nestled alongside the northwest end of the Brookside Golf Course and into the opening of Devil’s Gate Dam for the second installment of “Walks With The Mayor,” which aim to start community conversations about how to create a better Arroyo Seco for the future.

The hour-long wooded walk was an eye-opening experience for some hikers, who were simply unaware of the network of small trails like the one the Mayor explored, further highlighting the city’s initiative to bring attention back to the Arroyo Seco as a whole and to reintroduce it to Pasadena and beyond.

“Within a three minute walk from all the activity now you’re in the woods and to have the ability to retreat to a natural setting like this so proximate to all the stuff that we live with everyday. It’s sort of magical, I think,” said Tornek.

Tornek has been vocal about his affinity for the Arroyo Seco natural area since becoming mayor.

In this year’s “State of the City” address, the Mayor announced the formation of The Arroyo Advisory Group and its “One Arroyo” vision, which would create an overall long-term plan for the parkland as a way to unite the three areas of the Arroyo — Hahamongna, Central Arroyo and Lower Arroyo — under a singular vision.

“One of the ways to gain public input and to educate the public about what’s happening in the different sections of this thousand-acre ecosystem is to have these walks,” said Mayor Terry Tornek. “We really need to be thinking about this for the long haul. What will be the experience 15 years from now? 25 years from now? 50 years from now? And what can we do now that helps set the stage for a successful environment.”

Thursday’s walk was mostly about pointing out connectivity issues among the various trails inside the nature park.

“This is a beautiful trail that many people don’t know about it’s not identified it’s not signed so the people can find it,” said Tornek about the Brookside Golf Course-adjacent trail, that does not have any signs or descriptions anywhere.

“It’s sort of the poster child for connectivity problems,” Tornek added.

These connectivity problems Tornek mentioned had to do with both hiker confusion and hikers being unaware that certain trails even exist.

“It’s not clear where you are supposed to go or how you can connect past the Devil’s Gate Dam to Hahamongna, so this little walk a one-hour investment illustrates a whole series of points both in terms of how wonderful the existing resources and how challenging it is in terms of really working well and how some modest improvements — signage and connectivity — could make a vast difference in user experience for the people,” explained Tornek.

One hiker expressed his concern about mountain bicyclists using the trails.

“Part of the issues that we are grappling with is this issue of bicycles, which are very popular and certainly super popular in Hahamongna, and the whole discussion of how can bicycles be accommodated [and] where can they be accommodated,” said Tornek.

“Right now we confirm that bicycles are not permitted on the trails in the Arroyo,” Tornek added. “They are permitted only on paved areas, the notion being that if a car can go there certainly a bicycle can go there.”

According to Tornek, the the city has begun talking to parties that may be able to roll out signage measure in coming future.

“This trail concept and the connectivity challenges are not vast challenges. We don’t have to build a billion dollar infrastructure to make this work. I think that a modest signage and some very relatively minor improvements would really create an experience where you have the opportunity to take advantage of a trail like this,” said Tornek.

The Mayor’s public walk around the Arroyo are intended to catapult community concerns and ideas to the forefront before the Arroyo Advisory Group makes a report to the city council in December.

The Arroyo Advisory Group also announced this week that a survey for public input on Pasadena’s great city park is now available online at

The survey will be available through midnight, November 30, 2017.

In-person surveys will also be conducted throughout the fall at a dozen or so community events and public spaces. Various incentives will be offered to survey participants, while supplies last.

One Arroyo: Walks with the Mayor Dates and Locations
Saturday, October 14th, 9 a.m.- Lower Arroyo (Meet at the Casting Pond Entrance) Parking available adjacent to the Casting Pond area.
Thursday, October 26th, 8 a.m.- Central Arroyo (Meet at Rose Bowl Gate A under the marquee. Parking available in Lot F of the Rose Bowl




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