From 2009 to 2011, the Arroyos & Foothills Conservancy worked with its supporters and the community to conserve the majority of the remaining private land in Altadena’s Rubio Canyon — a total of 41 acres. The resulting Rubio Canyon Preserve is part of a regional trail system and contains the historic ruins of the Mount Lowe Railway.
In 2018 AFC formed an advisory committee called the Friends of Rubio Canyon, composed of dedicated volunteers from the community, to oversee the stewardship of the property, and to develop volunteer-driven restoration and education programs there. The Friends of Rubio has already tackled many issues and forged exciting new roads, including:
- With the help of volunteers, interns, and Scouts, the Friends has restored many of the Canyon’s degraded historic trails and maintained existing ones for the benefit of the range of hikers that come through. Rubio Friend Mel is our de facto “Trail Boss” who regularly helps to coordinate and facilitate these efforts.
- Rubio Friends has worked closely with AFC and its independent trail consultant Randy Anderson to make recommendations to the Los Angeles County Parks Department regarding its proposed extension of the Altadena Crest Trail through Rubio Canyon Preserve. This involved process required the Friends to devote much time and focus to the various aspects of the complex project, from the impact of multi-use trails on wildlife and ideas about parking.
- The Friends helped to organize two Eagle Scout projects: a trail kiosk and a footbridge in Rubio Canyon. The trail kiosk was designed and constructed by Eagle Scout candidate Curtis Yun. The completed kiosk is a beautiful addition to Rubio Preserve, and has already attracted new volunteers eager to help improve the Canyon. The footbridge was designed and constructed by Eagle Scout candidate Michael Yen. It provides a demonstration quality bridge – the standard to be followed at all AFC properties.
- The Friends continue to work with neighbors to address issues that arise from having a trailhead within a residential area.