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Nestled in the heart of La Crescenta, Crescenta Commons is a small pocket park on the corner of Orange and Rosemont in the heart of our community. It stands as a testament to the power of collective effort and the magic small spaces can bring into our lives. Over the past ten years, this modest yet enchanting space has woven itself into the fabric of our community, fostering friendships, creating traditions, and becoming a sanctuary of happiness and connection.

A Decade of Growth and Bonding:  Ten years ago, Crescenta Commons was just an idea—a vision shared by a few dedicated individuals who believed in the power of community spaces. Among them were two incredible people, pictured next to me, who stood by my side as we laid the first stones and planted the first trees. Today, as dear friends and “The Keepers of the Commons,” we continue to nurture this space, witnessing its profound impact on our lives and neighbors. Don’t get me wrong, building this site was a massive community effort. Hundreds in the community accomplished this by donating money and carpenter skills, digging holes, hauling rocks, and setting each plant in place. Hundreds of volunteer hours were spent building the Commons.

From its inception, Crescenta Commons was intended to be more than just a park. It was envisioned as a living, breathing testament to community spirit. Trees have been planted to honor families, and we have watched these trees and the families grow together. Benches have been dedicated, providing places for reflection, conversation, and connection. Here, generations come together, sharing stories and creating new ones, ensuring the traditions are carried forward.

The Role of Monte Vista Elementary:  One of the most heartwarming aspects of Crescenta Commons is its relationship with Monte Vista Elementary. For the past three years, the school’s Girls on the Run program has been pivotal in maintaining and enhancing the site. These young girls have fundraised and planted new life into the Commons, leaving a lasting legacy for future members. Recently, a portion of the Commons was dedicated to thank them for their continued commitment, marking it as a space for future Girls on the Run members to enjoy and cherish.

Teachers and students have utilized the space for classes and group activities, turning Crescenta Commons into an outdoor classroom where lessons extend beyond textbooks. Integrating educational activities has enriched the students’ learning experiences and deepened their connection to the community.

A Place of Connection and Reflection:  Crescenta Commons has become a beloved gathering place where people stop to chat, share a smile, and lend a hand. The simple act of weeding or planting often turns into a communal event, with neighbors expressing their gratitude and sharing their stories. Families whose children witnessed the site’s creation now return to reminisce and appreciate the transformation that has taken place over the past decade.

Community crop swaps, small dedications, and impromptu gatherings are commonplace here. Each event adds another layer to the rich tapestry of memories and connections. These activities have fostered strong bonds and lasting friendships, reinforcing the sense of belonging that defines our community.

The Keepers of the Commons:  Over the years, Crescenta Commons has been cared for by a dedicated group of volunteers known as “The Keepers of the Commons.” These individuals have poured their time, energy, and love into maintaining the space, ensuring it remains a welcoming and vibrant part of our community. Just recently, the son of one of our original volunteers instrumental in the initial landscaping of the Commons has taken on the role of our new Master Gardener, guiding us through restoration efforts and teaching us how to nurture the space’s natural beauty.

The ongoing restoration plan is a testament to the commitment of these volunteers. Standing side by side once again, we embark on the next phase of our journey, confident that the community will continue to support and cherish this special place.

The Magic of Generational Traditions:  One of the most magical aspects of Crescenta Commons is how it has created and sustained generational traditions. In just ten years, activities and events that started as simple community efforts have evolved into cherished traditions passed down through generations. This continuity is a testament to space’s profound impact on those who visit and care for it.

As we dedicated a new portion of the Commons to the Girls on the Run, we acknowledged the importance of these young members in continuing the site’s legacy. The involvement of children and young adults ensures that the values of community, cooperation, and care are instilled in the next generation, securing Crescenta Commons’s future.

A Testament to Community Spirit:  Crescenta Commons is more than just a park; it is a living embodiment of community spirit. Built by the community, for the community, it serves as a reminder of what can be achieved when people come together with a shared vision. The friendships formed, memories created, and traditions established here are a testament to the power of collective effort and the magic that small spaces can bring into our lives.

As we continue to plant, restore, and care for this space, we know Crescenta Commons will remain a beacon of happiness and connection for years.

Until We Plant Again:  The journey of Crescenta Commons is far from over. As we look to the future, we are excited about the new connections we will make, the new traditions we will establish, and the new keepers who will join us in caring for this magical place. We knew from the beginning that if we built it, people would come. Now, we know that as we continue to build, they will continue to help.

Crescenta Commons holds an extraordinary place in my heart and our community’s heart. Until we plant again, let us cherish the magic of this incredible space and the happiness it brings into our lives and community.

You can see more on the Crescenta Commons Facebook Page, and please like us. We hope to see you at one of our next restoration days.

Enjoy the quick video from our May 18, 2024, Restoration Day.


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