LA Parking Lot becomes Urban Oasis

Newsletter, West
Monday, February 13, 2012
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PDR rendering of the South Los Angeles Wetland Park (courtesy of LADPW)

PDR rendering of the South Los Angeles Wetland Park. (Courtesy LADPW)

What’s the best place to build a wetland? How about at the site of an old MTA bus lot in South Los Angeles? It took more than $26 million and nearly three years to complete the transformation from parking lot to urban wetland. Open to the public as of February 9, the new South Los Angeles Wetland Park that doesn’t only efficiently process storm water runoff–it also provides crucial community green space.

Boardwalks will carve through the new wetland site. (image courtesy of LADPW)

Boardwalks will carve through the new wetland site. (Courtesy LADPW)

As with many industrial environments, polluted storm water runs nearly unchecked to local water bodies, damaging habitats and freshwater supplies with the incursion of urban toxins. Before it was settled, South Los Angeles teemed with wildlife, oak forests, and dendritic streams feeding the Los Angeles River, but now that land has evolved into an impenetrable concrete cap. With backing from city councilwoman, Jan Perry, and  funds from Proposition O, the new park will reactivate the area’s natural  functions with kidney-shaped storm water pools, deep cleaning retention basins, and banks of native plants chosen for their ability to clean water. The nine-acre site will also provide meandering boardwalks and promenades that traverse the wetland and create an urban oasis for an area of Los Angeles that sorely lacks green space.

Wetlands will store and treat storm water. (image courtesy of LADPW)

Wetlands will store and treat storm water. (Courtesy LADPW)

It takes a lot of time and a lot of space to clean up the runoff our cities create. Artificial wetlands may never serve the ecological functions once provided by the natural wetlands destroyed by development. However, there are environmental lessons in South Los Angeles to be learned by every city in the country. Blighted industrial lowlands? why not build a wetland?

The park's grand opening. (Image courtesy of LADPW)

The park's grand opening. (Courtesy LADPW)

13 Responses to “LA Parking Lot becomes Urban Oasis”

  1. Morgana says:

    Great looking concept. Where’s the photos? The photographer on site only got the shot of the ribbon cutters? Weird move. Makes me wonder how the park REALLY looks. I’m hoping its beautiful, but ???

  2. Maria E. Mayer says:

    A very good initiative, but please provide SECURITY so that moms with children can go to this place without being harassed by drunk ex-convicts or by gang members selling drugs, graffiting the place etc. Take a clue from Estrada Courts

  3. Sue says:

    Um, why not just go see the park instead of embracing a pseudo-conspiracy theory about how it “might” look. They probably didn’t have a way to shoot overhead views and simply wanted to show the layout (overhead)of the park.

  4. Sue says:

    The park looks great btw :) Will check it out

  5. Hagop says:

    Looks like the only photograph they got was COURTESY LADPW, maybe someone IS trying to hide something…

    I’m a photographer if you need one! My most recent work: http://www.kcet.org/socal/food/midnight-snack/midnight-snack-oscars-cerveteca-with-mike-white.html

  6. Tim Frentz says:

    what the heck is the address and map links???? How are we suppose to find it?

    I’ll post pictures soon as I go check it out? The only place I know close to the description is between the warehouses and chinatown and Elysian park?

  7. Eric says:

    For all you skeptics, here’s the address and you can Google Map it.

    5413 Avalon Blvd, los angeles, ca

    Of course the satellite photo is old, but it looks like it could be a nice place.

  8. LA Stormwater says:

    For additional information on the South LA Wetlands Park and more photos, check out this post: http://www.lastormwater.info/blog/2012/02/09/southlawetlandsparkopening/

    Also, for those who plan on going to check out the new wetland, feel free to share your experience with us in the comment section of the blog post.

    Thanks!

  9. Shana says:

    Fro looking at the computer graphics per-visualization, photo and Google map image, it seems to be a concept work of how it will look in a year or so once all the vegetation has grown in.

    It looks like it will be beautiful and hopefully a nice place for families, but trees and plants don’t grow overnight.

  10. Peggity says:

    What’s the exact location, and is it completed yet? or still under construction? The architectural drawings are lovely. I’ve been fortunate to take river tours through Hidden Los Angeles. Wondering if this is the area near the terminus of the tour.

  11. John says:

    Wow. It’s a miracle that L.A. would actualy think about doing something like this considering this is one of the most parking lot/freeway centric cities on the planet. How about we add a bunch of new green space to the Hollywood area. I’m sure I’m just dreaming though.

  12. Dan Graziano says:

    an urban farm would have been a more useful and productive solution for the community. The city should consider doing more of these types of initiatives with the large number of under-utilized parking lots and other vacant spaces.

  13. Linda says:

    …and who were the designers??

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