June 29, 2009 § 19 Comments
There’s been a lot of interest in the past few years in restoring the former stream through Washington Park. Yesterday, LA Creekfreak got a specific request about this creek, the poster, Stanley, said it is believed that the creek’s name was Woodbury Creek. I believe this may have also been the area of interest to my mystery emailer, “Chris” whose email I had lost. So here goes….
Scroll through the gallery above for reference, click to enlarge the images. The 1900 USGS map shows a little swale topography but doesn’t indicate a stream, however they defined it at that time. The swale signature, however, means that rain water was concentrating along this alignment, and it is likely that stream habitats coexisted – we see examples of that all the time in our dwindling but still-present riparian areas. The 1928 Altadena USGS quadrangle shows a more tightly defined “swale” that was likely the stream – or could be the “stream” was the result of an effort by farmers to concentrate and ditch the water running off their property. In the next image, I’ve traced in the line of stream flow indicated by the swale, and in the 4th image, I’ve overlaid the contemporary street grid and County stormdrains, which don’t overlay much of the creek – I suspect the City of Pasadena may also have stormdrains over the creek, as we all know it is encased in concrete today. This last image was also overlaid in GoogleEarth, and the .kmz file can be downloaded from the GoogleEarth community forum if you want to view it against aerial imagery (download the attachment that I have posted there).
You will note the stream tapers off without physically connecting to anything downstream. There could be lots of reasons for that. Given the alluvial fan soils, it may have just all seeped into the shallow groundwater table, eventually flowing from the groundwater out to one of several surface streams downstream (in the general vicinity of the Huntington Gardens). That and other creeks in Pasadena will be in other posts.
Good luck, ye of Washington Park – let me know if you need some help with restoration design!