Water cascades down into a rock-lined pool. Newly planted trees and flowering shrubs sway in the breeze. Burgundy colored benches await visitors while pathways and bridges beckon to those who want to take a short stroll. After more than a year of construction, the new Ed P. Reyes River Greenway in Lincoln Heights is ready for the public. In fact, the one-acre of parkland off Humboldt Street was finished at the end of the year but the greenway will officially remain off limits to the public for at least several more months. Why? The city needs to find money to build a permanent fence to replace the chain link barrier now in place.
The greenway, named after the former First District Councilman, has been touted by the city as an innovative way to treat storm drain runoff while creating new parks and public spaces along the Los Angeles River. An underground biofiltration system helps clean and collect the storm water using a natural treatment process. The waterfall pumps, as well as the lights along the path that loops around the one-acre park, are powered by solar energy collected by panels on the site. But all of this remains fenced off to residents who live in a primarily industrial area without any parks or public spaces.
The city’s Bureau of Sanitation is working with Council District 1 “to provide fencing for the project as a deterrent against potential vandalism,” said Lauren Skinner with the Department of Public Works. “The schedule estimate is a couple of months.”
Of course, since the temporary chain-link gates at the two park entrances are unlocked and open, the public – as well as vandals – can simply stroll in until the permanent fence is installed.