In 1946, a beautiful monument was gifted to the City from the Native Sisters of the Golden West and placed in Bel-Air on Moraga Drive and Sepulveda Boulevard. This monument memorializes the first Spanish land expedition led by Don Gaspar de Portola in 1769, the first Spanish governor of California. Portola and his explorers passed through pass on their journey up California. Didn’t know it was there? That’s probably due to the City blocking the monument several years ago with a huge pole, rendering it nearly invisible. Our goal is to move the stone landmark so it may once again be seen and valued by our community and those that pass through it.
The monument’s backdrop consists of the two large islands on Moraga Drive. The Bel-Air Association has maintained the front island, and the front portion of the rear island for many years. The City’s lack of maintenance to the rest of the rear island has forced the need for the BAA to provide the upkeep for the entire island. However, broken water systems, dying trees, and trash have made the beautiful island both difficult and expensive to maintain. The BAA is reaching out to anyone in the community that wants to help showcase this 72-year-old monument and beautify our Moraga entrance to Bel-Air. Please contact the BAA office to make your interest known and to help us showcase this bit of history in Bel-Air and also to beautify the Moraga islands parks.