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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

City celebrates Atwater Village creek restoration

North Atwater Creek. Photo courtesy Department of Public Works


View North Atwater Creek Restoration in a larger map

City officials gathered near the Los Angeles River in Atwater Village on Thursday to dedicate the restoration of North Atwater Creek, a seasonal stream which flows into the river, and the expansion of North Atwater Park.  The project was hailed as setting the tone for other improvements intended to clean up the L.A. River and add more green and recreation space. But the project’s $4 million price tag – which included restoring several hundred feet of the creek and adding about three acres of parkland – did raise a few eyebrows from those who attended the ceremony. What did the city get for $4 million? The city’s Department of Public Works explains in a press release:

The $4-million project regraded an 800-foot narrow open channel, reshaped it, and removed invasive plant species to improve water flow. Structural stormwater best management practices including a trash removal device and native vegetation were implemented to improve the quality of water draining from the 60-acre sub watershed out to the LA River. It also added a three-acre green space to the existing North Atwater Park, highlighted by permeable pavers in the parking lot, decorative fencing, a new picnic area, and an outdoor classroom.

Click on the link below to real the full release.

Los Angeles City Councilmembers Tom LaBonge and Eric Garcetti led today’s celebration that marked the completion of the North Atwater Creek Restoration and Park Expansion project. A much-needed improvement in the Glendale Narrows area of the Los Angeles River, the North Atwater Park project provides multiple benefits to the city’s major tributary as well as the community.

The project will keep the LA River clean and healthy; help the city achieve its clean water objectives for the river and the ocean; provide additional wildlife habitat; and promote healthy living through recreational opportunities by the major waterway. The new green space sets the tone for all other anticipated improvements up and down the LA River as part of its revitalization. Joining the celebrations were environmentalists, regulators, area residents, Public Works commissioner John Choi, Recreation and Parks general manager Jon Kirk Mukri, Bureau of Sanitation assistant director Adel Hagekhalil, and City Engineer Gary Lee Moore.

“This new park transformed what was basically a ditch into a natural way to clean urban runoff and provide people with a place to get outside and enjoy the beautiful LA River,” said Councilmember Tom LaBonge whose district covers Atwater Village. “I applaud the collaboration of all the city departments to secure the funding and get this keystone project completed.”

Photo courtesy Department of Public Works

The $4-million project regraded an 800-foot narrow open channel, reshaped it, and removed invasive plant species to improve water flow. Structural stormwater best management practices including a trash removal device and native vegetation were implemented to improve the quality of water draining from the 60-acre sub watershed out to the LA River. It also added a three-acre green space to the existing North Atwater Park, highlighted by permeable pavers in the parking lot, decorative fencing, a new picnic area, and an outdoor classroom.

City Engineer Gary Lee Moore, who is leading the implementation of the city’s LA River Revitalization Master Plan said, “The North Atwater Creek Restoration and Park Expansion is a priority river project for the city. The new open space reconnects neighborhoods to the river and restores respect for the river as a cherished natural resource.”

The North Atwater Creek Restoration and Park Expansion also helps achieve the Bureau of Sanitation and the city’s water quality goals for its bodies of water. This project will mitigate trash and bacteria from urban runoff from the North Atwater sub watershed that flows through the North Atwater creek and directly out to the river. “This project affirms our commitment to clean water and healthy waterways in our great city,” said Adel Hagekhalil, assitant director of the Bureau of Sanitation. “Through the support of our policymakers and the community, and collaborations with our sister agencies, we are pleased to celebrate this cornerstone environmental project that defines how we are taking back our river, making it cleaner, greener, thriving, and richer in wildlife.”

Jon Kirk Mukri, general manager for Recreation and Parks said, “Our department is proud to be a part of the completion of this project as part of the LA River Restoration efforts. We are excited to see families come out to enjoy this urban oasis and hope they will appreciate the hard work that has gone in to make this land an open space where they can marvel at what is LA.”

The North Atwater Creek Restoration and Park Expansion project was a joint effort of the Department of Public Works Bureaus of Sanitation, Engineering, and Contract Administration, and the Department of Recreation and Parks. It was funded largely by the Supplemental Environmental Project funds from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in connection with the settlement of two Clean Water Act enforcement actions (Santa Monica Baykeeper v. City of Los Angeles and United States, and the State of California ex Rel. California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Los Angeles Region v. City of Los Angeles). Additional funds were provided by the Proposition 50 California River Parkways Grant Program.



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4 comments

  1. This is so exciting, and makes me so proud of L.A. I can’t wait to watch as the L.A. River continues to be restored.

  2. Hi Eastsider, Really enjoy the news from you about where I live. Would like to comment on the Atwater Creek restoration. Of course, cleaning up our environment is a wonderful and necessary endeavor. All waters leading to the ocean should be clean. But, why such a heavy cost for a portion of the tributary, when businesses dump awful chemicals into the L.A. River. Making chemical dumping into the river unlawful would be so much cheaper and effective. Why not treat the source rather than the symptom? By the way, the vaste amount of garbage flowing down the L.A. River during a recent storm left me incredulous.

  3. I cannot comment on illegal dumping, but storm drains lead to the LA River and the ocean. If people kept the streets clean and didn’t litter, you wouldn’t see the vast amount of garbage in the LA River after a storm flushes the City’s drains.

  4. Awful lot of taxpayer money spent on improvements at a park that has for years been a gathering place for gangbangers in North Atwater. This will make it a much nicer place for them to gather. Additonally, this park will be like so much of the much touted things done at the river that have not been maintained. The best approach to cleaning up the river would be to get the trash out of it and restore it as a nature preserve. The city has more than ample places for people to connect, swim, fish, boat, walk their dogs off leash, etc. Wildlife does not have a place to live that is free of humans and where they are safe from them.

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