The Greenbelt

The Green Belt

 

Second only to the beach in public use is the wonderful 3.7 mile long trail known as the Hermosa Valley Greenbelt. This beautifully landscaped trail runs parallel between Ardmore and Valley Drive. This fabulous piece of nature amidst its urban surroundings was not mother nature's design alone. This 24 acre strip was once part of the Santa Fe Railroad easement.

 

 

At one time, the Santa Fe Railway was Hermosa's only link to civilization. It went as far south as Redondo and east to Los Angeles. In the 1920s a railroad depot was built at Ardmore and Pier Avenue. It was torn down in the 1960's when the Santa Fe ceased using the Hermosa to Redondo part of the railway system. 

 

 

In the early 1960's as the railroad's use began to decline, Jack Belasco, later a Hermosa councilmember and mayor, along with his neighbor Bob Blumencamp, planted the first trees on the right-of-way. They carried buckets of water across Valley Drive until the trees were large enough to survive on their own.  

In 1988, funds were set aside by the City of Hermosa Beach to purchase the Santa Fe Railroad land from the company for $7.5 million dollars. The citizens of Hermosa voted for the Greenbelt to be for recreational use. By the 1990's, the tracks from the railroad were removed and the pathway was landscaped.

Today, the Greenbelt is used by many in the local residents and visitors to the City of Hermosa Beach, in addition to the butterflies, birds and other animals. Along the trail are four new exercise stations, installed in 2008, which replaced older deteriorating stations used since the sixties. Dedication markers and memorial trees are found here and there along the Belt.

In 2021, the City began studying ways to make the Greenbelt more accessible to all such as those otherwise physically challenged.