Steve Scauzillo: Turning brown into green takes partnerships

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Steve Scauzillo – May 31, 2013

Madrid Middle School Principal Bonnie Tanaka never could pinpoint her school from afar during her drive up the 605 Freeway.

Now she can.

“I can see this mural,” she said, pointing to the blue and green mountainscape painted on the corrugated metal industrial building that forms the backdrop to the school’s new exercise and nature trail.

The school ground, surrounded by private industry, a Superfund groundwater cleanup plant and the traffic of the 10 Freeway, was once a dump known as “The Bones,” which started out as a compost yard but deteriorated into a last resting place for old sofas and spent kitchen appliances, explained Claire Robinson, managing director of the Amigos de los Rios, the Altadena-based nonprofit that is responsible for transforming the brownfield into an urban oasis.

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