Funds were approved on Wednesday to build a $10-million, mile-long riverfront greenway on the site of a former rail yard on the border of Cypress Park and Glassell Park.
The Paseo del Río project will be the first of many developments intended to turn what was is now a mostly barren and contaminated swath of land into a sprawling park and recreation area next to the Los Angeles River.
The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy approved three grants totalling $10 million to design and build the path that will link the California State Parks-owned Bowtie parcel near the 2 Freeway to what's called the G2 parcel, a 40-acre chunk of property that the City of Los Angeles purchased for $60 million in 2017. The conservancy is a state agency dedicated to preserve and expand public open space and parkland.
The paseo is expected to be completed by the end of 2023, according to project documents.
"Our focused goal is to provide the community with something that they have asked for; close access to nature, wildlife, and the beauty of the Los Angeles River," said said Irma Muñoz, chair of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy in a statement. "This, of course, will include the ability to sight a majestic osprey, hear the song of the rarely seen Least Bell’s Vireo, and even the croaking of our longtime last heard frogs.”
Final plans for the eight-acre strip of riverfront on the former Taylor Yard rail yard still need to be developed. But it may include trails, access points to the river, native habitats, a kayak launch and landing, gathering spaces or outdoor classrooms, parking, restrooms, lighting and signage, according to project documents.
It's the first major project to take shape under the 100 Acre Partnership at Taylor Yard, which includes the conservancy, the city and the state parks department. It was created to create the largest public green space along the L.A. River and fund improvements to the adjacent Río de Los Angeles State Park.
Taylor Yard was previously a rail yard owned by Union Pacific Railroad. Part of the former rail yard is now divided into three open space parcels that total 100 acres and include the completed 40-acre Río de Los Angeles State Park, which opened in 2007, the 18-acre Bowtie parcel owned by State Parks, and the 42-acre G2 site owned by the City, with an easement owned by the MRCA.
Last year, the city asked the public to weigh in on concepts for the Taylor Yard River Park to be built on the 42 acre G2 site.
The site requires an extensive environmental cleanup to remove toxins in the sale. The clean up plus improvements could cost more than $250 million.
“This announcement is a wonderful commitment towards building a collaborative and connective LA River system”, “The SMMC’s investment in the Paseo del Río will strengthen local, regional and state efforts to add precious open space, and will provide a new River-front amenity in the neighborhood," said Michael Shull, General Manager of the City’s Department of Recreation & Parks.