Nature Park News (Jan. 2024)

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New Year… New Seating

We start the new year with some exciting developments in the Nature Park. In December, Nathan Onaga installed three benches in the Nature Park. To earn Eagle Scout rank, Nathan designed and constructed the benches. He worked with and supervised fellow scouts from Troop 139 during the installation. The group leveled the area, cleared weeds, cemented in the benches, and spread mulch. Two of the benches are located west of the Butterfly Garden, the third can be found near the recreational path.

A big thank you goes to Nathan and the other volunteers who added this much needed hardscape to the park. 

New benches
Enjoy sitting on these new benches constructed and installed by boy scout, Nathan Onaga.
Eagle Scout project, benches
Scouts begin gathering near the recreational path to install the first bench.
Eagle Scout Project, benches
Digging the holes for the 18-inch footings turned out to be much harder than expected. Rocks and long-buried construction debris made this a difficult and challenging task, taking much of the day.
Eagle Scout Project, benches
Once the holes were dug, the benches were put in place, leveled, and supported with wooden frames. Scouts mixed the concrete in a wheelbarrow and poured it into the footing holes.
Eagle Scout Project, benches
Nathan (right) works with another scout to set the bench in place.
Eagle Scout Project, benches
We were concerned that someone might move the benches before the footings set but the caution tape and secure supports gave good results.
Eagle Scout Project, benches
Here’s the bench near the recreational path. The bench, constructed of steel legs and a black walnut seat, has a rustic look that blends well with the park. Nathan designed and constructed the benches at his home.

Upcoming Events

In addition to the monthly park cleanups (next Volunteer Day is January 20, 9 – noon), Friends of South Pasdena Nature Park is collaborating with South Pasadena Beautiful, the South Pasadena Public Library, the City of South Pasadena, and South Pasadena Active Streets on the following events. 

Seed Library Kickoff Party, SP Library
Head on over to the Library Community Room after the January 20th Nature Park Volunteer Day for a seed and cuttings exchange and to celebrate the kickoff of South Pasadena’s new Seed Library.
Talk on Gardening with Native Plants
If you are thinking of converting your high water use landscape into a vibrant, sustainable garden, don’t miss this talk offered by the South Pasadena Public Library. We will discuss the nuts and bolts of making the change, including available rebates. There will be time for Q&A.
South Pas Parks Ride & Picnic
Friends of SP Nature Park will host cyclists at the park during the Ride & Picnic event. Participants will cycle from Garfield Park to the Nature Park where they will engage in nature-based activities. Afterwards, a picnic will be held at Garfield Park.
2024 Garden Tour Flyer
Discover the beauty of our lovely Nature Park. Mature coast live oaks, Southern California black walnuts, and western sycamores can be found in this 4-acre refuge. This year, park volunteers sowed more wildflower seeds than ever before. Join us this April for South Pasadena’s own Super Bloom!

January Volunteer Day

Where: 100 block of Pasadena Avenue in So Pas, east of York Blvd. Bridge
When: 1/20/2024;  9 am – noon

Nature Park volunteers should: 
– Wear sunscreen, hat, sunglasses
– Bring plenty of water
– Bring gardening gloves and tools (weeders, trowels, whatever you use in your own garden), there are extra tools and gloves for those who need them
– Wear comfortable work clothes, including work shoes (sneakers or boots) and long pants
– Bring binoculars for birdwatching (optional)
(It is recommended that participants wear face masks. I use one in my own garden to help with allergens and dust.)

Children must be under adult supervision at all times. There is poison oak in the park that we will point out before starting.

The South Pas Nature Park is a four-acre habitat park along the Arroyo Seco. The entrance, marked by a small plaque on an attractive river rock wall, is in the 100 block of Pasadena Avenue in South Pasadena, east of the York Street Bridge. There is plenty of on-street parking on Pasadena Avenue.

Upcoming Cleanups and Events

Volunteer days are usually held on the third Saturday of the month from 9 am to noon. We have several new events in addition to the regular cleanups.


If you would like to help grow our nature park but prefer not to get into the dirt, you can donate through South Pasadena Beautiful. Be sure to include a note specifying that the donation be applied to the Nature Park.