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The Big Tree

We are located next to the Big Tree in Glendora!the big tree

"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."