Event: Convert-a-Can on March 11

convert a can event poster

Roll up your sleeves! There’s another Convert-a-Can beautification event planned for Saturday, March 11 at the West Fork picnic area in the San Gabriel Mountains (close to Azusa).

Volunteers and artists will join event coordinator and San Gabriel Mountains Forever Leadership Academy graduate Meg Devine to transform waste receptacles into works of art.

Painting begins at 8 am and will continue until the sun goes down. Supplies are provided. (Donations of paint will also be accepted!)

Free food & drinks
Live Music
Raffle prizes

SGMF Leadership Academy Spotlight: Megan Devine

meg convert a can

Megan Devine is a graduate of the San Gabriel Mountains Leadership Academy who continues to lead the Convert-a-Can program.

How did you hear about the Leadership Academy and what inspired you to apply for the program?

I learned about the Leadership Academy through a friend, Kevin Lynch, who was in the cohort before mine, and he said it was a great opportunity. I also connected with my degree I was studying at the time, environmental science and policy. I am a huge advocate for protecting our public lands and conservation so it only made sense to get involved in the Leadership Academy.

What was your project?

“Convert-a-Can – Using Art and Creativity as a Tool for Advocacy.” Project Convert-A-Can turns unattractive trash bins into interactive art installations to create awareness and advocacy toward the prevention of littering and graffiti. The projects focus is to improve the infrastructure, deter litter and graffiti vandalism, and enhance the outdoor experience by beautifying the specific areas of the San Gabriel Mountains.

What’s the best thing you learned?

I learned vital leadership skills that allowed me to coordinate a successful project and do public outreach. I learned so much history about the San Gabriels and the organizations that work together to protect it.

What surprised you about the program or your work on the project?

I was surprised at the level of achievement I felt after completing my project and the Leadership Academy program. It felt so good to successfully complete both. And the impact it has made on my life was a surprise — it keeps on giving.

Describe being in the great outdoors.

Being in the great outdoors gives me peace. It allows me to let go of reality and be in the present. My senses heighten and I’m able to take it all in for all its worth. It allows me to have a greater sense of being and know that this is what I’m fighting for. The feeling of being outdoors makes me feel free and alive.

What’s your favorite way to spend your day in the San Gabriel Mountains?

I love the drive up Highway 39, visiting the West Fork trail with my sister and mom. Taking a hike down the trail along the river. Sitting down along the river by a waterfall to enjoy a great sack lunch with my family. Telling stories or just being in silence. That crisp air, and the sound of the trees in the wind makes my day.

Golden Streets Success!

Fire postponed the original date and rain came for the rescheduled date — but it didn’t stop the crowds from filling the streets for the 626 Golden Streets event, hosted by member organization BikeSGV. SGMF was proud to be a partner and to engage with community members at three hubs along the route.

More: Video from LA County (below); short video on our Facebook; more photos on BikeSGV’s Facebook page.

From Sasquatch to Star Wars: check out the human-powered, car-free fun at 626 Golden Streets from Los Angeles County Newsroom on Vimeo.

Call for Public Comments: Protect Water from Suction Dredge Mining


Photo by Steve Evans

The State Water Resources Control Board is collecting public comments concerning the development of suction dredge mining regulations for rivers and streams throughout California. Of interest to us: those waterways that begin in and flow from the San Gabriel Mountains. Comments are due by noon on Tuesday, February 28.

SGMF has sent a letter to the Water Board, urging them to develop and adopt comprehensive and stringent regulations to protect the East Fork and other San Gabriel Mountain waterways from suction dredge mining.

Suction dredge gold mining of our rivers and streams degrades water quality and puts public health at risk by mobilizing toxic mercury left in the river beds from historic mining. It also chronically disturbs fish and wildlife habitat and sensitive cultural and historical sites along rivers. We believe the regulations must ensure the protection of water quality in and all the beneficial uses of the East Fork and other streams in the San Gabriel Mountains. The public lands and rivers in these mountains and foothills produce 30% of the region’s drinking water supply and represent 70% of Los Angeles County’s open space, providing recreation opportunities for more than five million visitors annually.

You can join us in urging the Water Board to protect water quality and other beneficial uses of the state’s water from suction dredge mining. Ask them to prohibit dredging in rivers and streams that:

  • provide habitat for at-risk, threatened, or endangered fish and wildlife species;
  • are already impaired or could be impaired by mercury or sediment;
  • are designated as Wild and Scenic and Wild Trout Streams;
  • possess sensitive Native American and historical resources;
  • or provide critical sources of drinking water for downstream communities.

Comments are being accepted via email-  suctiondredgecommentletters@waterboards.ca.gov

Rain Delay: Volunteer Training Postponed

sgmf volunteers image.jpgUPDATE ON FEB. 17: Because of heavy rains, we have postponed the volunteer training planned for this weekend. We’ll post a new date when it’s confirmed. 

Want to help protect the San Gabriel Mountains and become a community leader? Volunteer for San Gabriel Mountains Forever! We are recruiting volunteers for a special training on Saturday, February 18 in El Monte.

Attendees will learn about our coalition and upcoming volunteer opportunities, as well as hearing about ways of engaging community support. All are welcome! Complimentary breakfast and snacks will also be provided.

SGMF Volunteer Training

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Jeff Seymour Family Center
10900 Mulhall St.
Room 9
El Monte, California 91731

RSVP via Facebook Questions? Contact Roberto Morales at roberto [at] morales [at] sierraclub [dot] org or 818-400-6340.

Future Leaders: Welcome, 11th Cohort!

Screen Shot 2017-01-24 at 9.35.41 AM.pngWe’re excited to introduce the 11th San Gabriel Mountains Forever Leadership Academy: Angela Miramontes, Araceli “Celi” Hernandez, Art Moy, Brian Velez, Daniel Ramli, Dorothy Wong, Edward Duong, Gabriel Machain, Jasmine Sara, Jeanette Ramirez, Karen Gutierrez, Rebecca Contreras, Liliana Griego, Maricela Rosales, and Payton Robinson. We held our orientation class on January 14 with a visit to the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, where we were joined by Leadership Academy alumni/SGMF members Andrew Fung Yip, Amy Wong, Xochicuicatl Valenzuela, and Cuauhtemotzin Hache.

#GivingTuesday: Give to Protect and Improve the San Gabriel Mountains Region

givingtuesday-blogIt’s #GivingTuesday!

Please consider a donation to SGMF to help us advance our work. With additional support, we can fund more:

  • Efforts to increase transit-to-trails shuttle services, so more of our communities can access the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument
  • Leadership Academy projects to engage community members and improve the region
  • Clean-up and improvement projects to protect our water, natural resources, recreational amenities, and wildlife — and make it safer and more welcoming for Angelenos to enjoy the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument

Please consider a donation today!

Leadership Academy: Graduation Celebration for the 10th Cohort

What a great night celebrating the graduation of the 10th cohort of our Leadership Academy!

Congratulations to the graduates: Bryan Quan, Carlos Diaz, Liliana Camacho Guzman, Yara Herrarte, Jose Jimenez, Jelani Khalfani, Kevin Liao, Rebecca Leung, Bryan Matsumoto, Jose Molina, Francisco Ojeda, Diego Paniagua, Elaine Valenzuela.