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Sunday, September 25, 2016

City sets the date for Echo Park Lake closure

Echo Park Lake before (top) and after (bottom). Images from EchoParkLake.org

Expect fences to begin encircling the park and lake during the week of July 11 as part of a two-year-long lake clean up, according to a new city website dedicated to the $64 million project.  That website also provides a gallery of before-and-after photos, including images of how the lake will look when its planted with wetlands. Officials had previously said that work would begin after the Lotus Festival during the second weekend of July but had not provided a specific time line until now. After the fence goes up,  “temporary trailers will be set up, along with water and power lines,” according to a notice on the website. “Earth moving and other construction equipment will show up at the site soon after these facilities are in place.”The actual draining of the lake, however, won’t begin until next spring.

A public meeting has been scheduled for  July 20 to update residents on the lake closure and clean up.

The wetlands, which are intended to help filter the water, will cover a significant portion of the 13-acre lake, dramatically altering its appearance.  Engineers have said there will still be plenty of open water for paddle boats – if they ever return – and have promised to restore the lotus bed in the northwest corner of the lake. The before-and-after image at the top shows the view of the wetlands and lake from north to south. Click on the link below for a south-to-north view.  What do you make of Echo Park Lake’s shaggy new look?

Related posts:

  • New website launched for the Echo Park Lake rehab project. Echo Park Now
  • Noses needed for Echo Park Lake odor patrol. The Eastsider
  • Will cleaning up Echo Park wipe away its historic landscape? The Eastsider
  • Cleaning up Echo Park Lake will be a big mess for residents. The Eastsider
  • Less lake and more wetlands for Echo Park. The Eastsider
  • What will the lotus look like when they return to Echo Park? The Eastsider
  • Will Echo Park Lake be twice dammed? The Eastsider

Artist rendering of new wetlands looking to the north. Photo from EchoParkLake.org



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  1. nooooo!!! make it stop!

  2. First, as I understand it, ALL those palm trees along the lake edge, and I gather some farther inland, are going to be taken out! So, that picture is drastically false! It will be 50 years before there are any mature trees there again.

    And otherwise, this is a BAD plan. I understand wetlands and their filtering ability. But this is NOT an appropriate place for that approach. It is just going to end up being a foul-smelling anywhere near them — that’s how they filter — and be quite unpleasant, not something you go to the park to experience.

    Further, the wetlands will also take a LOT of extra maintenance if they are not to take over the entire lake over the years. And just in lieu of the budget cuts alone, do you think the necessary maintenance will get done?

    But that’s not all: they now are delaying the draining of the lake until next year –yet the are closing everything off now anyway! This isn’t going to be done on schedule in two years — because the lake part will be delayed by a year. If you close it off now instead of next year when the lake is drained, the park will be closed most of a year longer!

    This is an incredibly bad plan.

  3. i hear a lot of people claiming the lake doesn’t need to be fixed, and i strongly disagree. anyone who spends time at the lake knows the water is filthy and foul-smelling and now we know it is also contaminated. so i don’t think it’s right to kick the can down the road and keep the lake polluted even though it will be an inconvenience for years. however, i share mark’s concerns about the wetlands. i fear in short order they’ll be filled with soda cans and cheetos wrappers that will never be cleaned up. it’s also obvious that the project is going to go on far longer than we’re being told. what a drag.

  4. Sixty-Four Million Dollars. Whoa.

  5. Ummm… I just went to echoparklake.org and in the opening paragraph it says this:

    “The lake was originally built in the 1980s as a reservoir for drinking water. ”

    1980s!? That’s headbangingly, insultingly maddeningly WRONG. I’m looking at a map of Los Angeles created in 1894 and Echo Park Lake is there. Whoever’s editing the website is either a dementia sufferer or a crack smoker. Or both.

  6. @mark
    I’ve experienced plenty of “wetland” filters that don’t smell of hydrogen sulfide. It is also very easy to construct the bottom topography in such a way as to prohibit the plants from spreading throughout the pond. All you need is a drop off to deep water. We don’t really have to deal with a lot of eutrophication in a situation like this compared to a natural setting.

  7. “The lake was originally built in the 1980s as a reservoir for drinking water. ”

    Not only that , but they are sending updates from the future – “July 27, 2011”. The site has an obvious need for a proofreader, or at least someone who knows how to read a calendar.

  8. mark – it is possible to relocate trees and to plant mature trees from a nursery. i doubt that with 64 million the city would plant seedlings. i am not looking forward to the next two + years either . but , it’s not going to get better on it’s own. i just hope it’s worth the wait. i hope it’s amazing when it’s done. fingers crossed.

  9. Ridiculous. Fix up the lake, by all means. But to shut it all down now and park vehicles and equipment all over the neighborhood, when work’s not scheduled to begin until NEXT SPRING is beyond stupid and really pisses me off!!

  10. Everyday lake person

    I run this lake everyday and just had a baby. So sure I’m bummed I’ll need a new route and my lil guy won’t be able to hit this place up until he’s two. But! At least when we return we’ll have someplace much nicer to run and visit. We Echo Park folks deserve the finest.

    And to the city, whoever the goofball you asked to write the copy for your website should do some research. 1980!?!?! Thats just plain stupid. Anyone using their eyeballs alone can see it’s older than that.

  11. This is a bad plan. I’m not saying to do nothing, though — the lake currently is putrid. But I certainly don’t see any reason why those trees need to come out. They can work around those when they do the work on the walls. No, they are not planning to transplant mature trees in their place. And I while I don’t think it is important to keep the lake clean going forward, I don’t think the wetlands are a good idea, there are other options.

  12. Re the concern about the 1980s date. It is a typo! They meant to type 1890s — and that is correct. In fact, if I recall right, it was 1893. Designed by Henry Tomlinson, as I recall.

  13. In times of budget cuts and debt? Come on get real. Rather then spruce up the area for the enjoyment of 2 am crack fiends, lets use it to fix roads or for after school programs.

  14. I am looking forward to the lotus coming back.

    @Phil – sorry mate, not a 2am crack fiend. mother and long time resident.

  15. Anyone who has ever had renovation work done on a house knows it takes longer than projected…which is a total drag but it has to happen sometime. It will be better for the animals and the people who enjoy the lake once it’s been cleaned up. The lake hasn’t been drained since the mid 80’s. It’s time.

    @Phil – According to this article http://echopark.patch.com/articles/echo-park-lake-closes-for-cleanup-and-renovation the money is coming from a $500 million dollar bond that was awarded to the city to fix storm water issues in the city.

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