High-voltage electric lines and towers loom overhead while traffic on the 5 Freeway roars past on the other side of a chain- link fence and bushes. This strip of land between Atwater Village and Los Feliz is probably not a place where you would expect to build a park, especially one with the bucolic-sounding name of Sunnynook River Park. It’s also not the easiest place to find, requiring Atwater residents to cross a narrow foot bridge over the river while those on the Los Feliz side must venture behind a Griffith Park tennis court and soccer field and cross a pedestrian bridge over the freeway.
But what 3.4-acre Sunnynook Park, which was to be officially dedicated this morning, has going for is its frontage along the L.A. River bike and walking path. Sunnynook’s location, which offers views of the river and historic Glendale-Hyperion bridge, make it a convenient rest area for the pedestrians and cyclists who use the path, according to the Mountains Recreation Conservation Authority, which helped finance the park.
After spending $1.7 million, the vacant parcel owned by the L.A. Department of Water and Power and Caltrans has been transformed into a parkland that melds existing pine trees along with native plantings, picnic areas, and an outdoor classroom.
While this park is apparently not intended to be easily reached by those traveling by car (in fact there is no parking anywhere nearby), Sunnynook will serve as a convenient place for walkers and bikers to take a break and enjoy a river view.