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A Tour of the Canyon Park Mess

Canyon Park is a mess. It is going to cost approximately $10.3 million dollars - maybe a bit less - to fix it up, paid for by federal, state, county, and insurance company money, and - of course - by Monrovia money.

City Manager Dylan Feik gave me a tour of the park (though it'll be closed for a long time) and outlined what the city has planned for restoring it.

The road inside the park is a one car-width lane scraped through the debris. While the road is badly damaged in some places it is not much damaged at all in others. However, Feik said that by the time the heavy equipment clears out all the debris even the parts of the road that appear to be okay will be a mess. Because of that the city plans to redo the road from the concrete sign on Canyon Boulevard to the top of the park. Although there is no real damage to the road above the public rest rooms, he said the pavement is old and with the paving equipment on site the additional cost to do that section should be minimal.

Here the county is busy cleaning out the Sawpit Debris Basin.

Fortunately, none of the buildings in the park were damaged, though the flooding came fairly close. However, Camp Trask, above the park, was badly damaged, with its swimming pool filled to several feet over its top with mud, and the floor of the dining area also covered in mud.

There are three bridges, or "box culverts," in the park as well as the bridge on the road that goes up to Camp Trask Boy Scout Camp. Before the storm you could walk through the culverts under the road, now the lower two of the culverts are filled to the top with mud, and the top culvert has a wad of trees clogging the upper side. The bridge to Camp Trask seems to have survived nicely. 

Here is the lower box culvert. You used to be able to walk through that area below the gray pipe you see in the picture.

Here is the upper box culvert, looking at it from the lower side...

... and here it is from the upper side, clogged with trees.

In places the road has been badly undercut.

Some trees that still look okay for the moment have had their trunks and roots damaged by the debris flow, and will probably die, so they will have to be removed.

- Brad Haugaard


  1. Is there any way we could have people volunteer? I bet there are thousands of people and families in Monrovia who would volunteer to help move rocks, dirt, debris and then replant!

    1. There are volunteer rangers. You could call the city and see how to participate in that.