Pamela Seager passed away over the weekend; Saturday, Sept. 14. If her name doesn’t spark immediate recognition, just know that if you were a school kid in Long Beach during the last 30 years or raised school kids during that time, you almost certainly met with the handiwork of her passion.
Pamela Seager was the Executive Director of the Rancho Los Alamitos Foundation. As such, she oversaw the remarkable transformation of the Rancho from neglected property with historical significance into a nationally recognized, award-winning site that Sander Roscoe Wolff described in his 2012 Long Beach Post profile of Seager, as having “gardens of breathtaking beauty, artworks of immeasurable value, and traces of native people who lived on the site before it was developed.”
Wolff’s extensive interview with Seager, below, occurred just prior to the grand reopening of the Rancho in 2012 and provides a remarkably detailed history of the restoration as well as insight not only into Seager’s aesthetic—raised in the English countryside she had a lifelong love of gardens—but the tireless drive it took to complete the 167-point master plan that eventually led to her being named Outstanding Contributor to the Preservation of Historic Landscapes in the United States from the American Society of Landscape Architects.
Practically anyone who’s attended school in Long Beach can talk to you about the Rancho, a trip there is a local rite of passage. Of course, anyone is welcome at the Rancho which developed a following well beyond Long Beach under Seager.
“Because of the significant history of the site, and it really is significant, the gardens have national stature,” Seager told Wolff. “Their papers are at the Library of Congress and the National Olmstead Archive… We positioned the site as a regional and national site, not a Long Beach site. That gave us the opportunity to move way beyond Long Beach. Most of the money has come from outside of Long Beach, from Los Angeles and the greater LA area. Some came from San Francisco, the Cultural and Historical Endowment in Sacramento.”
A terrific opportunity to see what Seager created is coming Sept. 28, with the Ranchos Walk 2019, a scenic walk over a trail linking Rancho Los Alamitos and Rancho Los Cerritos.
Rancho Los Alamitos is located at 6400 E. Bixby Hill Rd. For more information, click here.