Friends of the Rosemont Preserve
AFC and the Crescenta Valley community created the Rosemont Preserve in June 2012. Since then, we’ve been working hard with local volunteers to turn the land into a resource for the local community. AFC formed an advisory committee called the Friends of the Rosemont Preserve. Composed of dedicated volunteers from the local community, the Friends are developing volunteer-driven restoration and education programs at the Preserve, in addition to managing access to the land. Here’s what we’ve done so far.
- Five Eagle Boy Scout projects helped us create 2 trails with interpretive signage, an outdoor classroom and a demonstration native plant garden. Ross Chase installed our original trail in 2013 and Kevin Faeustle added our spur trail in 2017. Brandon Loder added interpretive trail markers and cleared and planted an area by the entrance. Brett Tyler installed our demonstration garden and Zach Alvarado planted the adjacent slope and extended our irrigation system to our demonstration planter boxes.
- Girl Scout projects include 1 Gold, 3 Silver and 1 Bronze project, creating wildlife guides covering native plants, invasive plants, medicinal uses of native plants and animal wildlife at the Preserve. Troop 5441 helped with a tree-planting project and a set of native plant cards and troop 1711 built demonstration planter boxes used to grow native plants and then use them to create native plant gardens at local schools.
- We’re working with local scout troops and schools to develop programs and curricula that will bring kids to the land. In May 2013, we launched a field trip program and have hosted hundreds of local elementary school students. We collaborated with Mountain Avenue Elementary School to develop native plant curriculum compliant with California Department of Education Science standards and to educate students in the local ecosystem, as well as in plant and wildlife identification. We then created geology curricula covering Preserve rock types, fault types, local flood history in addition to watershed & plate tectonics – it’s helpful that there is an earthquake fault running through the Preserve!
- We’re hosting visits for the community. We host “Open Gate” days at the Preserve the 1st Saturday and 3rd Sunday of each month. On those days, we open the property to the community to come and enjoy at their leisure.
- We’re providing free educational tours for the community. The 4th Saturday of each month we host a docent-led tour focused on history, culture and wildlife. Popular tours include those led by Wildlife Tracker/Photographer Johanna Turner And “Native Plants and Fire Resilience” led by Cassy Aoyagi.
- We’ve worked to restore the Preserve’s native tree canopy by planting 60 new trees. Rather than bring in saplings from elsewhere, we grew the trees ourselves from acorns and seeds collected by girl scouts from troop 5441 and volunteers at the Preserve, to ensure that the trees will be exactly the type that would have grown there naturally.
- We capture beautiful images of wildlife living in and passing through the Preserve, thanks to photography partners Denis Callet and Johanna Turner. Girl scout Rachel-Ann Arias also helps document local wildlife and created an informative set of wildlife cards for visitors to the Preserve to use while walking the trails.
- We provide self-guided tours at the Preserve, using our native wildlife and plant guides, along with a guide to medicinal uses of native plants created by Girl Scout Talin Baklayan.
- We host monthly restoration days the 2nd Saturday of each month as part of our effort to remove invasive plants. We’ve also hosted the California Conservation Corps for invasive removal and invite local schools to include us in their community service projects.
- We’ve removed many invasive non-native plants including castor bean, Arundo and tree tobacco. Thanks to girl scout Annika Near-Ansari who created a how-to guide for removal of invasive non-native plants.
- An environmental engineering class at Harvey Mudd College developed ideas for replacing intrusive county flood-control structures (k-rails) on the land with a more attractive alternative. We are in the process of considering their ideas with the county.
- We established the nation’s first native seed lending library in partnership with the La Crescenta Public Library.
Have an idea for the preserve that you don’t see on this list? E-mail the Friends of the Rosemont Preserve at [email protected] and suggest it! If you are looking for volunteer opportunities, you can help in a number of ways, whether it’s planning an event, hosting a docent tour or helping out with habitat restoration. Email us to join our wonderful group of volunteers!
AFC and the Friends of the Rosemont Preserve are working to turn the Preserve into a community resource – a place to appreciate wilderness, and to educate our children about nature. We’re creating education programs, reforesting the tree canopy, and planning tours and events for the community.
Please consider supporting the Preserve with a donation. We pride ourselves on keeping overhead low, but we still have bills to pay for property taxes, insurance, fire prevention, biological surveys, professional trail building and staff, among other things. It’ll take everyone’s help to make the Preserve all it can be.