Duarte is located approximately 21 miles northeast of Los Angeles near the intersection of the 605 and 210 freeways and just minutes away from the mountains, beaches and deserts. The Santa Fe Dam Recreational Area borders the city on the south. The facility has a 70-acre lake for sailing, swimming and fishing. The lake is stocked with bass, trout and catfish. Other features of the park include a children's water play area, picnic areas, trails for biking and hiking and campsites. Electric boats, rowboats and paddleboats are available to rent.
Within the city, there are more than a dozen neighborhood parks and recreation facilities. There are two sports parks totaling more than 18 acres that include lighted tennis courts, softball fields, basketball and volleyball courts, a roller hockey rink, equestrian trails, picnic areas, shelters and more. The cityís Parks and Recreation Department offers a variety of recreational programs and activities for residents of all ages.
There are several shopping plazas located throughout Duarte. Nearby, Old Towne Pasadena is home to a variety of small retail shops and restaurants. The Santa Anita Mall is minutes away in Arcadia. The Duarte Unified School District offers residents an excellent choice of schools. There are five elementary schools, one middle school, one high school and one alternative education center. The primary driving forces behind the successes of these schools are the teachers and community support. About 25% of the staff in this school district has taught for approximately 20-30 years. Nearly half of the Certificated Staff hold multiple credentials and/or a Masterís Degree. Residents recently overwhelmingly approved a $44 million General Obligation Bond that will go towards modernizing the cityís school facilities.
For higher education, Pasadena Community College is located nearby. In addition, there are a variety of colleges and universities in the surrounding areas including the University of California at Los Angeles, Pepperdine University and many others.
The modern history of Duarte began in 1928; the Jewish Relief Association started a tuberculosis sanitarium on 40 acres of land South of Duarte Road. This later evolved into the world-renowned City of Hope Medical Center, a recognized leader in fighting cancer and other catastrophic diseases. In 1930, a group of Carmelite Sisters established the Santa Teresita Rest Home, known today as Santa Teresita Hospital. From four small cottages, this medical facility has developed into one of the finest hospitals in the region.
In 1957, a dedicated group of community members led the fight for incorporation and on August 22, 1957, their efforts paid off with the formation of the City of Duarte and the Duarte Unified School District. The leadership of the Duarte City Council and the Duarte Unified School Board helped the previously fragmented community to come together, set goals and establish priorities that continue today.
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