that the boats will return for this weekend in time for the Echo Park Community Festival (The Lotus Festival, which is normally held during the second weekend in July, was canceled by the city earlier this year in a cost-saving move).
Residents have boated on Echo Park Lake for more than a century since it was declared a public park in the early 1890s. The city has spent more than $500,000 in recent years repairing the docks of the Echo Park Lake Boathouse as well as installing a new red tile roof and other improvements. In 2007, the Recreation & Parks officials closed the money-losing pedal boat operations in Echo Park and MacArthur Park. However, Echo Park residents were able to convince the city to get the pedal boats back on weekends.
Echo Park photographer Martin Cox, who lives near the lake, was involved the previous effort to bring back the pedal boats. But Cox won’t be launching another rescue effort since the city’s budget and economic outlook is so bleak.
“I don’t think there is enough sympathy to go around,” Cox said. “It’s sad. But at least I can go boating one more time.”