Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Elysian Valley welcomes park expansion

Linnae Dawson and  son Leo Dawson of Silver Lake use one of 13 exercise stations | Lucy Guanuna


ELYSIAN VALLEY —  Residents and public officials on Saturday gathered to celebrate the transformation of a former dirt lot in Elysian Valley into a river-adjacent recreational oasis.

The $4 million expansion of Marsh Park  includes about three acres of flourishing native plants and more than a hundred native trees along walkways that feature outdoor fitness equipment. The expansion west of the original park also added a public restroom – a scarce amenity along the L.A. River Path – and a parking lot –  where visitors can load and unload bikes, kayaks and other recreational equipment – and a picnic pavilion.

“I think its awesome. The park is a beautiful addition to the area,” said Silver Lake resident, Linnae Dawson who is now thinking to have her son’s birthday at Marsh Park in May.

The expansion was funded by Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, a state agency that buys land for public open space and recreational use, in partnership with the Mountains Recreation Conservation Authority, which will operate the park. The authority’s junior rangers lead interactive stations designed to engage and educate children and adults on the biodiversity of the park.

Bioswales throughout the park gives the area a natural water filtering and groundwater replenishment system. A 40-space parking lot will provide more than enough parking, said Dash Stolarz, director of public affairs at MRCA.

Attendees enjoyed free tacos and drinks as well as live latin tunes by Los Angeles-based band, Very Be Careful. The dedication was attended by state senator, Kevin de Leon as well as city council members Mitch O’Farrell and Tom LaBonge.

Marsh Park’s Mission-style picnic pavilion housed the dedication ceremony | Lucy Guanuna

Members of the Anahuack Youth Soccer Association play a pick-up game at Marsh Park’s open field | Lucy Guanua

The band Very Be Careful entertained visitors with Colombian style Vallenato | Lucy Guanuna

Los Angeles resident Mark Sonnenklar shows his son, Ben Sonnenklar, how to use kayak paddles on the Los Angeles River next to the park | Lucy Guanuna

Lucy Guanuna has reported on a variety of issues, including business, education and social justice movements in her native Los Angeles. Her work has been published in the Daily Sundial, L.A. Activist, and the San Fernando Valley Business Journal.

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