City Jewel: The Emerald Necklace


Volunteers working behind Madrid Middle School in El Monte. / Photo Courtesy of Amigos de los Rios.

EL MONTE, CA — On Saturday, January 16th, a large group of teenage volunteers showed up at Madrid Middle School to participate in the weekly Emerald Necklace event. Armed with gardening gloves, shovels, and trash bags, the volunteers were ready to weed the plot of land behind the school and prep the soil for future plants.

The Emerald Necklace Project is the creation of the non-profit organization Amigos de los Rios. The project employs the aid of high school Key Club members in the local region.

Baldwin Park High School's NHS members working at Mulhall Elementary in El Monte for The Emerald Necklace Project.
BPHS’s NHS members working at Mulhall Elementary in El Monte. / Photo Courtesy of Amigos de los Rios

“In many instances, AMIGOS-designed urban parks serve as prototypes for the next generation of public parks and open spaces in our area. In addition, they are discrete elements of a larger vision: an unbroken network of parks and connecting nature trails and bike paths that stretches from the San Gabriel Mountains to the Sea – our vision’s name  – The Emerald Necklace,” says the official Amigos de los Rios website.

At Madrid Middle School, volunteers spent their morning renewing the land by removing weeds. To end the event, volunteers were given the opportunity to plant poppy seeds that would be set to bloom by April.

The Amigos de los Rios plans to hold many future events and opportunities for willing volunteers to take part in greening the gray in the Emerald Necklace region. For more information on such upcoming opportunities, contact

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