By BARRY LANK
SILVER LAKE — Amid the saga of draining and someday refilling the Silver Lake Reservoir, residents may have noticed a new advocacy group involved in shaping the future of the neighborhood icon: Silver Lake Forward. The new group has pulled together longtime conservation advocates, architects, activists, entertainment and media industry executives as well as electronic music performer Moby, who is a board member.
If you’d never heard of Forward before, that may be because they didn’t really form until this year. But in recent public discussions surrounding the reservoirs, they have been more prominent than the more-established Silver Lake Reservoirs Conservancy.
Craig Collins, former president of SLRC, joined to help form Forward because, he said, “SLRC would have to grow as an advocacy organization, and that was a larger project than it was comfortable with.”
Another member of Forward’s board, Catherine Geanuracos, said “as the reservoirs are changing, it’s a good time to have another organization to raise funds, engage the community, and support and collaborate with the city and other stakeholders as the plans for the reservoirs develop.”
Though the Forward’s web page mentions a few specific recommendations for the reservoir — removing the fences around it, removing the asphalt inside the reservoir basin wherever possible, and working out arrangements for restrooms – Geanuracos said the group is mainly just trying to keep the conversation going.
“Our core goal is to jumpstart a real planning process,” Geanuracos said. So if the LADWP makes good on its goal to begin refilling the reservoir next spring, that will only be the beginning for Forward. “Whenever water goes back in, we now are at the start of the process for determining how best to rehabilitate and use the public land that surrounds the lake,” Geanuracos said.
Collins added that, once the basin refills, there will be a lot of planning, a lot of engineering, a lot of discussion of what to do next.”
“Silver Lake Forward will definitely be around for much more,” Collins said.
CORRECTION: A previous version of the story said that many of the speakers at the June 30 meeting were from Silver Lake Forward. While members of Silver Lake Forward did address the meeting, it turns out many of the speakers the story referred to were from another group, Refill Silver Lake Now.
Barry Lank grew up in the San Gabriel Valley, then went away for a seriously long time. He has worked in TV and radio, and currently helps produce The Final Edition Radio Hour.
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