Explore the Arroyo
Falling away from the crest where Temple’s adobe was built, the terrain slopes toward the Virginia Country Club. When the country club subdivided their property to accommodate a small residential community, Virginia Road was extended to meet that need. The road had a steep grade, and being at the base of the rancho property it was subjected to runoff. This was solved by importing truckloads of dirt to raise the road bed and changing the slope into something of a hollow. When a residence was built on the neighboring parcel the feel of an amphitheater was reinforced by the fencing. It has never been a true arroyo but the name has stuck.
In the 1930s this was part of the buffer zone and became fragmented when the City of Long Beach installed their much needed parking lot. An early plan of Cornell’s was to create a third orchard here, this one for stone fruit harking back to Temple’s early orchard, but the Bixby’s selected a simpler design with only the margins of the slope planted.
In 2012 the arroyo was changed when the visitor center was built into the slope. It was then landscaped with California native plants while maintaining the remaining exotic plants from the 1931 buffer zone.
This area is not open to the public but a fine viewing platform is available from the visitor center near the restrooms. It is our great hope that by allowing the native plants to follow their natural growth patterns, including summer dormancy that we will provide a positive influence on the ecosystem and all the wildlife it naturally sustains.