Part 3: The best is yet to come
By Galen Patterson
The Los Angeles County Arboretum can be thought of as a collection of snapshots from ages past.
Beside Lake Baldwin sits Queen Anne’s Cottage, a preserved structure from the Baldwin Era of southern California, which began in the late 1800s and continued after the death of the first branch of local lineage, Elias “Lucky” Baldwin.
Baldwin’s children and grandchildren grew into the social elite on the San Gabriel Valley, his grandchildren broke barriers and his great-grandchildren are still around today. However, much of what is left of the former Baldwin Estate is owned by the county and stewarded by the LA County Arboretum.
Read Related: What’s Going on With Arcadia’s Lake Baldwin? Part 1
Before Baldwin ever came to possess the land the arboretum now sits on, and before Hugo Reid settled it with his Tongva wife, the ancestors of the Tongva lived there, and survived off of Lake Baldwin.
Also living on former Baldwin land, but outside of the Arboretum are citizens of Arcadia, some of which have taken action to help restore the lake. Descendants of Baldwin’s have also voiced their support for the restoration of the Lake; the Arboretum Association wants the lake restored, along with the current leadership of the Tongva Tribe.
Read Related: What’s Going on With Lake Baldwin in Arcadia? Part 2
What this amounts to is the descendants of the former owners, the current caretakers who have even worked it into their list of main goals, some of the nearby locals, the city of Arcadia, several surrounding cities, and Los Angeles County are all on board with restoring the lake. According to James Carlson, high ranking members of the California legislature are also in favor of the project. So what seems to be the holdup?
When the team of envoys went to the Capitol to garner support for the project it seemed, at least to Carlson, that the efforts had been somewhat successful, but direct approval and allocation of funds did not come through. Now a revised and expanded version of the plan is awaiting approval at the county level.
But what other plans exist?
Arcadia citizen Stan Raddon says he has spent years working on his own plan for the region. When asked how it will compare with the submitted government plan, Raddon says “It dovetails right into it.” Raddon submitted his research to the Tongva Tribe. “The Tongva have the strongest position to make recommendations,” said Raddon.
Recently, the Tongva leadership reviewed and approved Raddon’s plan, but the plan has not yet been released to Arcadia Weekly.
More on this story next week.