We are located next to the Big Tree in Glendora!
"The Big Tree had been enjoying a solitary life in a vacant lot at
655 S. Santa Fe Avenue for a couple of decades until it was purchased
by Dr. Edward McNamara. Soon thereafter, in September 1971, the property
was acquired by the American Medical Enterprise, Inc. (AME), the parent
company that owns the then named Glendora Community Hospital.
The tree was saved, not because an outcry erupted from the city but because
AME hadn’t completely decided what to do with the property and in
the interim, instead suggested that it would make a decent park. At this
time, Ron Hanson, a then young employee of the Parks and Recreation Department
helped broker a deal that would eventually save the tree for future generations.
In the introduction memo to a report prepared by Hanson in 1971 about
the prospect of a new park at the location, he suggested a few alternatives:
“The reason for AME’s purchase was for purposes of future
expansion of their hospital facilities which presently occupy the square
block immediately east of the tree. Because this expansion will be at
an undetermined future date, they have expressed a desire to develop the
lot into a small park.”
Hanson lists nine benefits of converting the property into a park, from
“creating a relaxing and intimate atmosphere for hospital patients”
to “promoting greater awareness of the tree by the public.”
Also mentioned was the greatest obstacle in front of the Big Tree’s
ability to survive the 1970s: “Ownership of the land is vested with
AME, a profit motivated corporation, not primarily interested in developing
recreational areas for the general public.” An honest assessment
of most companies, but AME did something unusual. Later in the year, the
city was given an easement on the tree and its surrounding land, as long
as it always remains a park and as long as Glendora foots the bill for
its maintenance and development."