History

In the 1920s Pasadena had over 1,000 acres of public park land with a population of 45,000.  Today Pasadena parks staff counts 861 acres of public park land with a population of 150,000.

Historical Accounts

Not Just a Local Problem

New York Times on proposed gondola project and large residential/commercial development at Grand Canyon:

Buried within the [development] proposals is the belief that a tiny circle of entrepreneurs has the right to profit at the expense of everyone else by destroying a piece of the commonwealth — a landscape that is the birthright and the responsibility of every American.

That principle was first laid down by Teddy Roosevelt in 1903, when he delivered a speech on the South Rim of the canyon.

“I want to ask you to do one thing in connection with it, in your own interest and in the interest of the country — keep this great wonder of nature as it now is,” Roosevelt declared. “I hope you will not have a building of any kind, not a summer cottage, a hotel, or anything else, to mar the wonderful grandeur, the sublimity, the great loneliness and beauty of the canyon. Leave it as it is. You cannot improve on it. The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it.”

That same year, 1903, Roosevelt stood on the rim of the Arroyo Seco in Pasadena and told Mayor Vedder:

“What a splendid natural park you have right here! O, Mr. Mayor, don’t let them spoil that! Keep it just as it is!”

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