Everyone is invited to a special celebration event on Saturday, July 14, 2012 at 9 a.m. to celebrate the annexation of a major portion of Elsmere Canyon into the City of Santa Clarita. The special event is the culmination of more than two decades of work by area activists and the City to prevent Elsmere Canyon from becoming the world’s largest landfill. To celebrate the annexation of Elsmere Canyon, the City will host the free celebration with light refreshments and free save Elsmere Canyon t-shirts and posters while they last.
Guests should wear comfortable shoes if they want to go on a quick out-and-back hiking tour of the area, to be led by Councilmember Marsha McLean. Residents can access Elsmere Canyon by driving to the south end of Newhall Avenue (where the park and ride is located near SR 14).
Located at the end of Newhall Avenue near the Newhall Pass, Elsmere Canyon features native plants, a waterfall, trails and wildlife. It was purchased for open space by the City of Santa Clarita in a partnership with Los Angeles County and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy about two years ago.
In the 1980s, Elsmere Canyon was proposed to be the site of a 190-million-ton landfill and would have been the largest dump in the world. A groundswell of opposition from local residents led to the City — with the help of federal legislators and the Walt Disney Co. — stopping the landfill proposal.
The 842 acres of open space purchased by the City is the last of the undeveloped land, now preserved for the public to enjoy. Elsmere Canyon encompasses about 2,600 acres, with 1,200 acres owned by the U.S. Forest Service and 400 acres donated to the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.
Elsmere Canyon has a number of important cultural, historical and natural assets that warrant protecting. It’s a historic passageway between the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys and is a vital wildlife corridor. It also serves as a greenbelt around Santa Clarita, and was also home to two Indian tribes.
“I started the effort to save Elsmere Canyon from becoming a dump in the 1980’s because I wanted to protect this beautiful canyon and our community from becoming a trash dump. The legacy we now leave for our families and future generations is significantly different than if the world’s largest landfill had gone into Elsmere Canyon,” explains Councilmember Marsha McLean.
For more information about Elsmere Canyon or about the event on July 14, 2012 at 9 a.m., visit www.hikesantaclarita.com or call the City at 661-255-4939.