New parkland sprouts between a river and freeway

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.

Boulders provide outdoor seating under pine trees.


  1. So glad it’s open, been watching the progress for a while!

  2. I walked my bike into the park yesterday around noon, sat on a bench and enjoyed the park while eating my nopales breakfast burrito.
    There were city workers scattered about testing the sprinkler system, then it dawned on me that it this place hadn’t been ‘opened’ yet. I guess this confirms it.
    They didn’t seem to mind, and enjoyed hanging out there for a good 20-30min.
    It’s a great little spot along the path with some great placards with historical info and photos on the Los Angeles river.

  3. I was here the other day and observed a homeless man who was making his bed for the night. This place is going to be a good place for tweekers, pot smokers and homeless. Thank you Garcetti-O’farril for the open invitation to vagrancy, loitering, and civil disobedience.

    • oh please, you can find tweakers, stoners, and homeless pretty much anywhere. If we used your criteria to determine which sorts of public investment we should make, we wouldn’t have any parks at all. Plus, you forgot about the drunks. c.c

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