Arlington Garden Hosts Fundraiser Sunday, While Plan for Extending Its Caltrans Lease Goes Before Council Monday

Published : Saturday, October 27, 2018 | 4:32 AM

The day before this week’s City Council meeting, Arlington Garden in Pasadena, the community-based non-profit that maintains the Garden, will hold a fundraiser on Sunday, October 28, raising funds for the maintenance and care of what is the only community-maintained public park in the heart of Pasadena.

Then on Monday the Pasadena City Council is expected to approve a recommendation from the Department of Public Works seeking authority for the City Manager to negotiate with Caltrans for the lease agreement to continue to use the Caltrans property at 275 Arlington Drive for an additional three years, at $100 a year.

The initial five-year lease with Caltrans was extended in 2008 to 10 years and is scheduled to expire on December 14 this year. The proposed extension would be up to December 14, 2021.

The fundraiser, Autumn in the Garden, will be from 4 to 7 p.m., and will feature a silent auction of art donated by local artists who have been inspired by the Garden. The non-profit said small bites, drinks and live music will also be part of the event which will be an opportunity to visit with old friends, meet new ones and see why this Mediterranean garden is a Pasadena gem.

Among the artists exhibiting in the silent auction are Susan Wier, Susan Bishop, Kathy Dooling, Kay Henry, Karen Hammond, Joyce Leddy, Eva Marguerite, and Pete Morris. Some pieces donated from the private collection of Bob Bozzani will also be auctioned.

Tickets are $125 per person if purchased up to October 26 and $135 at the event. For a party of two, tickets will be $200, and $750 for a party of 10 or more.

Since 2003, volunteers and the City have cooperated to maintain the Garden as a drought-tolerant demonstration garden. A small dedicated group of community members worked with staff to design a plan for the property, raising funds and participating in the planning, planting and maintenance of Arlington Garden.

Over the first five years of the lease, the Departments of Water and Power and Public Works provided funding for the purchase of drought tolerant plants, the installation of water service to help establish the plants and various improvements to the garden.

Now, Arlington Garden has various native and drought tolerant trees and shrubs that have been developed into themed outdoor rooms which consist of a formal Mediterranean olive tree allee, a succulent desert garden, a wildflower meadow, an oak grove, a seasonal arroyo wash, a citrus grove and a vernal pool. The educational and sustainable components in the garden include the use of solar power to run irrigation and a water fountain, and a low flow irrigation system. Other improvements include recycled concrete garden walls and steps, and mulch to mitigate weeds.

Through a Memorandum of Agreement with the Arlington Garden in Pasadena non-profit, the City contributes $21,100 annually for landscape maintenance services. Costs for water and trash disposal services, utilities and pest control services amount to about $30,000 yearly.

The Department of Public Works said it has sufficient funds for the lease extension, from the budget of its Parks and Natural Resources Division.

For more information on Sunday’s fundraiser, visit

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