News and events for Transition and sustainability in Pasadena, Altadena,
and nearby communities along the Arroyo Seco.

Transition Pasadena

November 2016

Acorn Festival

& Fall Plant Sale

Saturday, November 12
11:00 am - 4:00 pm

Hahamongna Nursery
Hahamongna Watershed Park

Live Music, Kids Crafts, Food Truck & More

Bring acorns and a leaf from the tree to grow oak trees for next year!

More info:
Arroyo Seco Foundation

Arroyo Seco Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study


Tuesday, November 15
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Pasadena Yards, 2nd Floor
233 W. Mountain St.
Pasadena  91103

Info courtesy of the Arroyo Seco Foundation: The US Army Corps of Engineers has prepared an inspiring set of alternatives to restore the Arroyo Seco and its ecosystem. On Tuesday evening, November 15th, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works will host a workshop in Pasadena to allow the public to help shape the future of the Arroyo Seco.

Many years in preparation, the USACE program is an historic opportunity to restore much of the lost grandeur of the Arroyo. We believe the Corps has done an excellent job of identifying potential opportunities for Arroyo restoration. This is a long-term, visionary approach based on scientific values, and it will affect the next 50 to 100 years of the Arroyo.

We urge workshop participants to consider carefully what kind of an Arroyo do you want to give as a legacy for future generations.

To help you participate in the workshop and be an effective advocate for a restored Arroyo, we have prepared an overview of the Corps program that includes definitions, basic information and suggested principles for advocacy.

We urge all those who love the Arroyo to come to the workshop and advocate for the most comprehensive approach to restoring the Arroyo Seco River and Canyon, a key tributary of the Los Angeles River.

For more information about the USACE Arroyo Seco study, click here: USACE Arroyo Seco Study

For more info on the meeting contact:
Paul Shadmani at or call 626-458-4388

Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition

Monthly Meeting

Monday, November 14
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

PBWS Architects
234 E Colorado Blvd, Suite 700


Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition's monthly meeting! Help make Pasadena's streets SAFER for EVERYONE!

We're a diverse coalition of cyclists, pedestrians, transit users, and community organizations who believe in the power of Livable Streets - streets that are designed to be safe and inviting for people of all ages and abilities - to support the health, sustainability, and vibrancy of our community.

We work in concert with partner community groups, Pasadena City government, local businesses, and other advocates to support the development of multi-modal transportation options, policies that protect the safety of all users, and a community that celebrates active living. We welcome anyone who shares this vision.

Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition
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a part of Transition Network

Jackie Robinson Post Office
Native Garden is a Success!

The Jackie Robinson Post Office Native Garden installation has been an amazing success!

I have been reflecting on a mantra which was bestowed on me by David White of the Center for Regenerative Agriculture, Ojai: "Clarity of Intention, Flexibility of Process" When we hold this basic guide, things seem to flow with grace and ease.

The underpinnings of this mantra are the strengths of Transition Pasadena: a natural diversity of interest and talents, a shared, level leadership, mutual empowerment, fun as a priority, the ability to mutually hold vision or intention, and flexibility to think outside the box about how to make it happen, or make it better, or make it do, or do without!  And, as an aside, the other component that always amazes me is: it is virtually all accomplished outside the money economy, unfettered by the bookkeeping of nonprofit status.

In planning this project the intention was set and then pieces seemed to fall into place, a constant reassurance that we must keep moving it forward to a higher level of engagement.

A professional Program Manager presented herself asking for community engagement! The city, unsolicited, offered the high-efficiency irrigation system. Even as Saturday, the day of the garden installation unfolded and we ran out of mulch, Lin led a group with a truck to a mountain of free mulch which adequately finished off the project. Sylvia showed up with cardboard to cover newly-sprouting weedy patches, January showed up with signage for staging and work flow,  David showed up with a piano, Michiko showed up with a zero waste program,  and 55 neighborhood volunteers showed up,  each toting tools of guerrilla gardening.

Leaders emerged for efficiently moving a mountain of mulch up onto the planting beds, nestling large stones, staffing booths and welcoming new arrivals.  We finished planting 6 trees and more than 50 other plants 3 hours ahead of schedule!

And then after four months with virtually zero rain, it rained on Sunday! and again on Monday!.  How can that be, I ask myself. Life is a mysterious thing. The Universe is a powerful force.

— Therese Brummel

JRPO Native Garden

Piano On-The-Go

Taking Music to the Streets, Literally!

Arroyo SECO Time Bank and Transition Pasadena member David Cutter has created for himself a new way to be able tinkle the ivories almost anywhere, for anyone, having crafted a custom bicycle trailer/rig to haul around an upright piano behind his bicycle!

He writes:

Hi All!  The continuing saga of the traveling piano. I'm calling it "Piano, On the Go", but still collecting name ideas.

The trip to the Boys and Girls Club [for Repair Cafe] was 7.6 miles round trip ... It's slow going but I don't want to go fast anyway; I'm watching for bumps, so slow and steady is fine. Both trips were uneventful with the main issue being anything more than a short uphill tends to overheat the bike battery. ... Not a big deal as it cools quickly ... and I'm back in business.

The main issues now are getting a permanent bench built ... I'm hoping [an iron worker] will also be able to build a kickstand. That will make life a lot easier. Once that is done, I will be heading to Old Town to scout some locations.

The idea to do this was mostly about fun. I like performing. It will also be free advertising for my business and useful for our public events where there's no piano. There are other reasons that have been coming to me since I started working on this. These are not quickly explained but here we go:

One of the main reasons that human industrial civilization is in the trouble it's in, is our reliance on logic and reason. Not that they are inherently bad, but more that we exclude other forms of "thinking" as irrelevant to "serious" decision making. And so, with every new invention and problem, we have used logic and reason to dig ourselves into a hole of extreme proportions. Someone once said, when you find yourself in a hole the first thing to do is stop digging.

I see art, in all its forms as a direct way to say "stop digging". Not to say it in words but as people stop to listen to music or view any form of art they are stopping. Stopping is one of the main things we need to do in this society. Stopping to enjoy art gets people into their right brain and out of their left brain where the logic and reason resides. The right brain allows a range of other ways to perceive the world. Contemplation of beauty, experiencing emotion, intuition and just plain being happy to be alive, to name a few. I think over time this idea will evolve and certainly the expression of it will.

If David's new thinking about how to bring music to people encourages new ways of thinking about art and society, then David is bound to succeed.

— Qrys Cunningham

Repair Café Pasadena

Photo by Therese Brummel, taken at Jackie Robinson Post Office Native Garden.
Transition Pasadena is a community group working to make positive changes in our community as we face global climate change, peak oil, and economic uncertainty. We share our skills working on projects to increase local resilience and strengthen community connections. Our members live in Pasadena, Altadena, and nearby neighborhoods including Highland Park and Eagle Rock.