More than 100 volunteers planted trees and shrubs, including children as young as 4 years old.

More than 100 volunteers attended the event to plant trees and shrubs and create cleaner air for their communities.

SCE Vice President of Operational Services Doug Bauder surprised Amigos de los Rios President Claire Robinson with a $5,000 grant at the ...

Edison volunteer Prashant Agrawal (center) brought Pratush Agrawal (left), 9, and 4-year-old Adi Agrawal to volunteer and learn about ...

Edison volunteer Shari Schuffels helps plant shrubs at Peck Water Conservation Park during a Season of Service volunteer event.

Edison volunteers planted trees and shrubs in Arcadia to help create cleaner air for their communities.

Volunteers Help Improve Green Space, Clean Air in Arcadia

Edison International partners with nonprofit Amigos de los Rios to restore a local conservation park.

  • By Justin Felles
  • May 16, 2017

In its previous life, the Peck Road Water Conservation Park in Arcadia was a pebble quarry. It wasn’t pretty or inviting, but it served its industrial purpose. Today, the landscape is much different — it’s a beautiful, thriving green space in an area that is seriously lacking.

“Nationally, you look for five to 10 acres of park space per 1,000 people,” said Claire Robinson of Amigos de los Rios, a nonprofit coordinating a restoration project at the park. “In this area, we have between .2 and .3 acres per 1,000 people.”

Amigos de los Rios started restoring the park in 2008 and it has been at it ever since, with constant help from community volunteers, including many from Edison International and Southern California Edison. Recently, more than 100 Edison employee and family member volunteers spent their Saturday planting nearly 300 shrubs and trees in the park as part of the company’s Season of Service — one of more than 20 events planned this year to support local charities.

Volunteering with local charities is a weekly activity for many Edison employees, who collectively logged more than 143,000 hours in their communities last year. The volunteers also presented a $5,000 grant to the nonprofit.

Amigos de los Rios Season of Service
More than 100 volunteers planted trees and shrubs to help create cleaner air for their communities.

“Giving back is really part of who we are and what we do at Edison,” said Doug Bauder, SCE’s vice president of Operational Services, who volunteered with his team. “We’re committed to leaving the world better than we found it, and people will be able to enjoy this park for generations to come.”

Restoring Peck Road Water Conservation Park is part of Amigos de los Rios’ larger plan to create an “emerald necklace” that connects the hillsides in Los Angeles to the Pacific Ocean with greenway, providing desperately needed recreational areas for communities suffering from extreme density, urban decay and the social and health issues they bring.

“The tree canopy we’re bolstering with Edison is going to provide clean air and greenhouse gas reduction, plus restored habitat for local birds,” said Robinson.

Amigos de los Rios’ plan for everyone to have access to green space was inspired by the 1929 Olmsted Bartholomew Plan, designed for the L.A. area by the sons of Frederick Law Olmsted, who was best known for designing New York City’s Central Park. Sadly, due to changing government priorities during the 1930s depression, the original plan was never realized.

More than 80 years later, things are back on track and the emerald necklace is bringing healthy land, native bird species and cleaner air right along with it.

“It’s important to plant trees because look, trees give us air and without air we can’t survive,” said 9-year-old Pratush, who volunteered with his dad, Prashant Agrawal, an SCE senior manager. 

Emerald Necklace By the Numbers 

• Serving 62 cities
• 7,500 plus acres of land
• 68 miles of multi-benefit river trails
• 50 miles of wash and creek trails
• About 447 existing parks
• About 60 potential parks
• 20,000 trees (estimated)

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