Ribbon Cutting & Grand Opening of Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site’s new California Native Garden

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Photo courtesy of Rancho Los Cerritos.

Today, Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site hosted a ribbon cutting and official grand opening of their California Native Garden. In the works for 10 years, and completed earlier this year, the garden extends to the northern edge of the Rancho property and reflects the genuine love, by Llewellyn Sr. and Avis Bixby, of local native plants.

Many luminaries were in attendance, including representatives from the Long Beach City Council offices of Al Austin, Suja Lowenthal, Suzie Price, Rex Richardson, and Roberto Uranga. We were also joined by newly elected City Attorney Charles Parkin, representatives from the Port of Long Beach, and Rancho Los Cerritos Foundation board members.

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In a process that took years of planning, the participation of many municipal departments, and with funding from a Port of Long Beach Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Mitigation grant, Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site has completed its new California Native Garden. The California Native Garden extends from the newly constructed visitor’s center to the northern perimeter of the property, and adds more than 30,000 square feet (.7 acres) of rehabilitated landscape to the site. Combined with native plantings around the visitor center and along the western perimeter of the property, as well as the recently rehabilitated arroyo, well over 1.5 contiguous acres of land have been planted with California natives. Using water-efficient plants, the California Native Garden restores habitat, expands recreational use of the property to visitors of all ages, improves aesthetics, and addresses critical drainage issues and erosion on the hillside.

 

Plant materials in the California Native Garden reflect the wide selection of natives used by noted landscape architect Ralph D. Cornell when the Rancho property was re-landscaped in 1931 for Llewellyn Sr. and Avis Bixby. Both had a deep interest in California’s natural habitats, so Cornell primarily selected plants from California’s botanical palette for the regions north and northwest of the house.

 

The Rancho’s California Native Garden will officially open at a private, invitation-only, ribbon cutting on the morning of Wednesday, August 13, and will open to the public at 1 PM the same day.

 

About Rancho Los Cerritos:

Rancho Los Cerritos is located at 4600 Virginia Road in Long Beach.  Built in 1844, the adobe home and grounds echo with the rich history of Spanish, Mexican, and American California and with the families who helped transform Southern California from its ranching beginnings to the modern and urban society it is today. The two-story Monterey-style adobe is primarily furnished to reflect occupants and lifestyles from the 1860s-1880s. The site, a National, State and Long Beach Historic Landmark, also includes historic gardens and a research library and archives. The Rancho is operated by the Rancho Los Cerritos Foundation in private-public partnership with the City of Long Beach.  For more information please call (562) 206-2040, or visit the website at www.rancholoscerritos.org and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/rancholosc.

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