A quick stroll and first impressions of the new Echo Park Lake

New aquatic plans and concrete rim of Echo Park Lake. Photo by Darrell Kunitomi

The clean up and rebuilding of Echo Park Lake is 99% complete but the park remains officially off limits to the public.  But with its newly refilled lake and freshly planted lawns and trees, it has been hard for many to wait until the temporary fence around the park comes down. That was the case on on Sunday when Echo Park resident Darrell Kunitomi took a stroll and a closer look at the rebuilt lake and park.

Kunitomi, an avid fly-fisherman who has visited the park since he was a boy, shared some photos and observations of the lake. Said Kunitomi via emal:

Looks pretty good but am taken aback by how extensive the [new wetlands]  are – major shoreline is lost to access by kids/fishers. Walkway is very nice.

Here are some more photos and observations provided by Kunitomi.

Early residents, or early visitors

The problem with the [wetlands], which are very large, is ‘How do you get out trash?’

New beds have pads, already flowering.

Old funky outlet at north end is repurposed – with steps and railing it’s a fine observation point. Also looks to serve as a stage as the grass in front seems to be perfect for performance.

As fly-fishers we watch birds, they tell us what’s hatching because they eat what’s up and flying – was somewhat amazed to see swallows winging and diving over the new lake. Means they are after some sort of winged insect that has emerged from the newly-filled lake, which I find surprising.


  1. great photos, thanks! it’s looking close to opening from my view above.

    my questions: are the rental peddle boats coming back? did anyone buy/who bought into the café/restaurant? will the rogue street/park vendors be stopped from taking over? i can see some new young palms planted, but they have not cut back any of the bearded palms…

    RE Darrell’s comment about trash… the wetlands will grow in, well, but unfortunately there’s always been trash problems, both in and out of the lake.

  2. Looks nice… I’m gonna miss being able to walk right up to the water, but if it keeps the lake cleaner maybe it’s for the best. Anyone know when it officially opens to the public?

  3. Wow, great photos! Thanks for the update!

  4. They say there is a trash collecting system to take out items in-water, but windblown trash that lands in wetlands and may prove extremely difficult if not impossible to remove as someone has to wade in to retrieve.

    EP Lake has always received more than its share of trash and junk, whether by wind or by stupid visitors — when lake was drained I saw a toilet, car batteries, park benches and trash cans, Frisbees, thousands of bottles and cans, and the somewhat famous-but-now-fatally-damaged wagon wheel, and a row boat. Floating junk would collect on the north end, now it will butt up against plantings and will likely present a view of collected trash that we see on Ballona Creek after storms.

    Have not heard a thing about boats coming back (doubt it); nor about anyone taking over the old shop, which was a great place to stop by when we were kids and buy worms, ice cream or burgers, served separately.

    The bank access will take a lot of getting used to — in some places you cannot get to the bank due to planting beds, and in the lake the beds take up major portions of the southern end. I am disappointed about that.

    • As one who isn’t all about fly fishing, I’m glad the banks will have limited access because of the planter beds. Seems a natural way to keep a balance of the amount of fishers at any given time.

      • @Keyless, there are two kinds of beds — one on land, the other in water, former won’t restrict access to anyone because peeps will trample to get to bank, and the rim (about 9″) is certainly walkable.

        The beds in the water are another matter and will restrict access — picture the old lotus bed, now picture it attached to the bank extending out about 50′. That prevents fishing access.

        • …and re the rim installation: I don’t see as a problem unless someone falls in, child or adult, because you cannot reach up to get out. It’s fairly deep, no footholds, and unless a passerby can help someone is going to be lost.

          At least the old bank, rotten as they were, afforded some purchase in that situation.


  6. Here it is without anyone even realizing it, they have made a nice park for the youth to skate. I guess they can ali onto that little one foot barricade that divides the grass from the concrete, yes neighborhood stuff! Thank you City of Angels’…Echo Park is the sh..!

  7. The illegal vendors must be foaming at the mouth

  8. Just in case anyone else is tempted (and I know I’ve been) just be aware that there appears to be security guards on site now.

  9. I love how the grass is green inside the lake but our current councilmember doesnt give a rats ass about doing anything about the grass on the outside let alone fixing the sidewalk on those problem areas like on Park ave and glendale blvd.

    But when it comes down to the date of the lake opening and the ribbon cutting he will be the first to show up like as if he was ever involved to begin with and take his pictures and ask people to vote for him…good luck!!!

    you dont think 85million could of fixed some of those issues? oh wait its going to take someone to fall down sue the city and cost the tax payer even more money, wait and see…

    • Andrew, according to Garcetti, everything good that has happened in Echo Park, Silver Lake and Atwater in the past decade has been completely his singular, hands-on accomplishment. It didn’t happen on its own, despite him, or because of other groups’ planning and efforts; it happened only because he did it himself. Hey, he has photos from every last single photo-op event and many, many more fake events to prove it.

      I have to think that every last thing on his lifelong resume is as valid.

  10. So according to a friend that was there, the park’s not opening until June 15th. a month later than we were led to believe. ugh.

    It seems an odd political move for garcetti to have a photo op where he proudly announces the lake will be opening a month later than had previously been reported. way to show us you can get things done behind schedule.


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