Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Gotta Hike Somewhere: Pasadena




East of Allen uncovered this lost space. A small scrap of a long-deserted park, hidden behind a condemned pre-school. Someone once cared about Earthside Nature Center, a couple of dozen someones at least. They clipped and primped and trimmed and planted until Earthside shone as a bright star on a very small stage. She was a supermodel preserve for California native plants.




Funny how quickly a cultivated area can lose its manners when left alone. Earthside fans devoted time and effort from 1971 to 1995. And then, apparently, packed their secateurs and left. Without a word that I can find.




On the other hand, some girls get all the luck. Right in the heart of San Marino stands El Molino Viejo. The old mill has seen a lot of twists and turns and cosmetic work since 1810. She’s a charmer these days, for all her checkered past.








I slipped inside prior to visiting hours and rather shortly thereafter was escorted out.

I’m sorry, you’re not open now? Oh, well, I guess that explains the padlock.

The Old Mill Foundation was formed in 1995; for El Mo, it was a very good year.

34 comments:

  1. Ah, well, it's a numbers game. Mostly you win.

    Secateurs. Thanks for the new word!

    I'm also grateful for our intrepid Hiker. I knew about the Old Mill but not about Earthside. Must go see for myself now.

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  2. I've driven past the Old Mill many times and have always been curious. Way to trespass :)

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  3. I've never gone into the Old Mill. Googling it kind of reminds me why: open 1-4, except Mondays. Nonetheless, should give it a try. Earthside looks interesting. Derelict spaces; reminds me a little of Llano del Rio--a long defunct utopian community.

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  4. Petrea's a gardener: I can tell.

    As I said yesterday, nature is a tough mistress. Possessive, too!

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  5. Well you just keep on trespassing Sistah. WE love your fine photos that document your illegal entries. Glad you had the ....... ummm NERVE to go there.
    V

    I"m off to do the dictionary thang on secateurs!

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  6. Eeep!

    I want go. Thanks for these photos and the exploring oh fearless one. :D

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  7. Really ... youse lot dont have the word "secateurs" ... hah! I am figuring it to be French word ... so V will be miffed ...

    Clippers ... umm ... what DO you call those gardening thingies that you use to trim back unwanted growth?

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  8. I say clippers, but I'm not a gardener (much to Julie's surprise, I see). Karin is, really.

    But I do have clippers. Two pairs. Small and big.

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  9. Hang in there, KB. Thursday will be a better day for you!

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  10. I'm sure you've been escorted out of better places than that Karin.

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  11. You crack me up. Locks are for other people. It's kind of sad to see something like Earthside fall into such disrepair. On the other hand, it's heartening to see Mother Nature do what she does best. Grow and flourish, in spite of human intervention and our desire to control Her.

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  12. Now it's an authentic California native field. I didn't find it sad -- just mysterious.

    I probably could have bluffed my way through El Molino, but the person I ran into was the Executive Director.

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  13. I remember taking my kids to visit the Earthside Nature Center when they were little. It was absolutely beautiful.

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  14. Hmmm....Maybe the conclusion is wrong here....I can’t see any padlock from here!!!

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  15. Might be a good time to get Vulcan Quarry to open up Fish Canyon to the public. Access once a month between 7:00 and 12:00 doesn't cut it for me. With the majority of our trail heads out of reach I hope "we the people" can create a little immanent domain of our own.

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  16. One: I'm so intrigued about the first place. Two: I could never slip in somewhere I wasn't supposed to be. The stress of being found out would do me in. You are very brave.

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  17. Aha! More evidence of you ignoring those do not cross signs--hmm, clearly you are the sleuth type--

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  18. You know the bestest places. I wanna go!

    Btw, the best policy while trespassing is feigned ignorance. That's what I do.

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  19. Okay ... the tease is over ... the deed is dun.

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  20. I never knew until a couple months ago that the Old Mill was actually there. After I drove on Old Mill road hundreds of times, it finally dawned on me.

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  21. Anyone know anyone who has a picture of Earthside in its prime? Would love to see that

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  22. http://ww2.cityofpasadena.net/planning/deptorg/commplng/OpenSpace/Cal%20Poly%20Presentation/EarthsideNatureCenter_061209.pdf

    wv shnessio

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  23. What a fascinating powerpoint that PJ sourced! Stands to reason that it reached the end of its first lifetime when the originators died. It seems sad that the makeover is going to be so extensive. It will no longer be wild but manicured.

    What are exotic weeds?

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  24. Wonderful photos and words. A bright star on a small stage. Yes! Thank you!

    For PJ and Julie: the powerpoint PJ linked to was the product of a Cal Poly graduate student project last spring. It very nicely presents the history of the place and the students' concept of what might become of Earthisde. What actually happens is anyone's guess. For the moment, the task is simply to preserve the three acre site as open space. Earthside is city owned property that is zoned for public service; not open space. The city plan (which appears to be dormant at the moment)is to use the property for a police and fire training center. There's no active movement toward implementing that plan. But it is still important to change the property's zoning so it can be preserved -- for future folks who may find inspiration to tend this space as far sighted folks did from '71 to '95.

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  25. I am so glad Michael stopped by, because it is thanks to him that this area has a chance at all. (See powerpoint, Michael Coppess brought this area to the attention of the college, and Michael is East of Allen link.)

    The other thing that warms my heart is all the interest here at home, and that PJ from Florida would take the time to locate the study, and Julie in Australia would care about a small open space over in California.

    I'll keep an eye on this trail.

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  26. Yes, you are really an international shining star!!!

    As always, take care! :)

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  27. I'm with Margaret.

    You really don't call them 'secateurs' over there? In that case, Hiker must really be wise to the ways of the gardening world.

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  28. de Hiker is wise full stop

    Even way down here in the land of the Bogan we call them secateurs! The little ones we do. The big ones are just clippers. Secateurs require skill and dexterity; clippers just require grunt.

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  29. What is all this talk about the gardener tools?

    ”require skill and dexterity”, that means it’s not a job for amateurs.

    Thank you!!

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  30. Yes, the docents ans El Mo are like Dobermans.

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  31. Apropos of nothing, I'm only familiar with non-secateurs.

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  32. *guffaw*
    *chuckle*
    *chuckle*

    You lot are forcing me to reassess long held biases!

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  33. Hi Altadena Hiker,

    Anyone ever find out whats to become of Earthside & its lingering momento's? Any organized effort to preserve momento's? If so I can volenteer my sweat equity w/ others to lend a hand ( toroichiban86@yahoo.com ).

    Had time to revisit last Friday before storm brewed over, round 2pm. Was on my wild grape cutting rescue mission & pruners in tow so watch out coyotes. Yotes were no show but more homeless rufuse was in full effect but no signs of 2 footed residents in light of day. Selected 12 pencil thick & thicker, 5 bud green cuttings so Earthside will live on in my/ friends gardens :).

    Could ave entered on Del Mar front gate but choose the low key indirect Greyburn Rd. cul-de-sac wooden gate (off of Madre) (ignore gate that says "No Tresspassing" local area resident on street below says all Chapman Woods residents do,lol) Cross the olde X-Mas tree nursery under power line towers going westwardly toward Eaton Wash channel & right along side ENC fence. A new entrance made by homeless in fence by the "KEEP OUT" sign along side the Eaton wash channel (pics on my Picasa album near end).

    The demolition crews are noisily working in front probably Mon - Friday razing the olde Girls Club. but not sure on weekends so route A or B for urban trespassers is your choosing.

    Hope all that voiced checking out/ documenting Earthside can do so soon as days might be numbered if the crew that is dismantling Girls Club advances southward. Have great liquid sunshine El Nino week all.

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