Hermosa Valley Greenbelt History

As a card-carrying member of the local surf and SUP crowd, I occasionally forget that there is, in fact, another beautiful public outdoor space for local residents to enjoy here in town—the Hermosa Valley Greenbelt.


This 3.7 mile long, landscaped trail that runs parallel between Ardmore and Valley Drive was once part of the Santa Fe Railroad easement. 
The railroad depot that had stood at Ardmore and Pier Avenues since the 1920’s was torn down in the 1960’s when the Santa Fe stopped using the Hermosa to Redondo section of the railway system. In the early 1960’s, Hermosa resident and future mayor Jack Belasco, along with his neighbor Bob Blumencamp, planted the first trees on this strip of land, carrying buckets of water across Valley Drive until the trees were big enough to survive on their own. It wasn’t until the 1980’s and much discussion locally among competing interest groups, that the citizens of Hermosa voted overwhelmingly to preserve the Greenbelt for recreational use. The nature-loving public was willing to tax themselves in the millions to secure, landscape, and maintain the trail.

Thank goodness they did–the Greenbelt has become a local haven for joggers, parents with strollers, dog walkers and owners, as well as the squirrels, chipmunks, butterflies, and local flora that call it home. Fitness enthusiasts and personal trainers regularly enjoy the exercise stations, installed in 2008. The Belt has also proven to be a tranquil spot for those who have lost loved ones, with dedication markers and memorial trees found here and there along the woodchip path.

In this age of fast-paced living and rapid technological advancement, it’s awesome to live in a town that offers not only an incredible stretch of coastline, but a beautiful midtown oasis to escape to for a little while and enjoy nature.

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Post by Darren Pujalet

Darren has written 333 articles.

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