Jeff Seymour Family Center

10900 Mulhull Street, El Monte, CA 

Jeff Seymour Family Center beginning of project

Designed for wellness

The Jeff Seymour Family Center (JSFC) is community hub for families providing comprehensive programs to promote overall family wellness. Administered by the El Monte City School District, the JSFC unites the county and community to strengthen individual, family, and neighborhood protective factors and increase social connectedness, community mobilization, and access to needed support and services.

The Jeff Seymour Family Center Green Infrastructure Campus was designed and developed by Emerald Necklace Group| Amigos de los Rios, in partnership with the El Monte City School District and community stakeholders. 

Amigos de los Rios’ unique expertise in sustainable and community-based design includes youth training programs, environmental education,and community outreach.

A transformation

The Jeff Seymour Family Center campus design is a direct result of our team listening to community members and partnering with the organizations on site to develop features that are unique and meaningful to the stakeholders of the Center. The transformation of the campus was made possible with the help of community volunteers and conservation corps workers.

Our Emerald Necklace Watershed Stewardship program includes volunteers from over 40 high schools and colleges. Under the watchful guidance of our design team and with the expert knowledge of contractor mentors, these environmental stewards have collectively contributed thousands of hours of labor to transform the campus. 

The organizations on site also ontribute their time and energy to help keep the campus environment live and healthy. Students in the Opportunity Program have made campus care an extension of the classroom, giving students hands-on learning in science, math, art, and nutrition.

Jeff Seymour Family Center-2020


The Jeff Seymour Family Center campus is designed around the idea of community “wellness.” Whereas many school campuses tend to be somewhat stark, institutional, and often unwelcoming, the Center is a place for the community to enjoy a more natural setting, with features designed to provide both physical and psychological wellness.


Green Infrastructure

The Jeff Seymour Family Center campus is also a demonstration of the impact that small, incremental interventions can do to transform a place.

The campus is designed as a microcosm of our larger watershed, with interventions to address the challenges of climate change, public health, and long-term sustainability. We follow the metropolitan area sustainable design philosophy outlined in the 1930 Olmsted-Bartholomew plan for our region, which recommends that every school double as a park, offering green relief to urban dwellers in desperate need of access to recreation and to the natural world.

By incorporating these green infrastructure elements throughout the campus design, we transform the physical experience of the campus, which in turns extends the value of campus wellness services for the El Monte community and beyond. We invite the community to take advantage of everything the Jeff Seymour Family Center has to offer and hope that the campus can be a place of greeting, gathering, rest, and discovery.

Jeff Seymour Family Center Educational Signage

Jeff Seymour Family Center Rain Capture Module

Storm Water Management

The Center also promotes environmental wellness, with targeted interventions to improve the ecology on site.

Jeff Seymour Family Center bioswale-smr

Water is a guiding principle in the campus design. Following the flow of water on site, we removed water-intensive grass and changed the shape of the ground to add gentle depressions, mounds, and swales to direct and capture rain and runoff, creating a new topography and a new sense of place.

Rain gardens and bioswales located throughout the campus collect and infiltrate water from rooftops, sidewalks, asphalt blacktops, and parking lots. As gravity pushes water through layers of soil, it is naturally cleaned before recharging our underground water supply. This process also helps prevent pollutants from entering our waterways.

Habitat Enhancement

Native plants create habitat for birds and butterflies.

Increased tree canopy cools surfaces, removes greenhouse gases, captures stormwater, improves air quality and beautifies the Jeff Seymour Family Center campus.

Jeff Seymour Plant Signage


FUNDINGCalifornia Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund through the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), Urban and Community Forestry Program.

PROJECT DESIGN & BUILD TEAM: Emerald Necklace Group|Amigos de los Rios

Additional funding provided by the Environmental Enhancement Mitigation Program through the California Department of Natural Resources, and from REI.

Helping us create a greener world!

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
REI logo