At its meeting on June 1, the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy's Board of Directors voted to approve $10 million in grants for the construction of new public open space along the eastern bank of the Los Angeles River.
The grant money, allocated from Proposition 1, will be matched with additional funding from the City of Los Angeles and the State Parks department to pay for the design and construction of the Paseo del Rio project, a one-mile river greenway in the Glassell Park community. The approximately eight-acre corridor could be improved with trails, water quality features, kayak launch points, parking, and signage.
Paseo del Rio is billed as the first project in the "100 Acre Partnership," a new effort announced by the City of Los Angeles, the State Parks Department, and the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority. The three entities hope to build 100 acres of green space in the Glassell Park community, combining the existing Rio de Los Angeles State Park (40 acres) with the 18-acre Bowtie parcel and the 42-acre G2 parcel.
“This announcement is a wonderful commitment towards building a collaborative and connective LA River system”, said Michael Shull, General Manager of the City’s Department of Recreation & Parks in a news release. “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."
All three properties were once part of the Taylor Yard, the former Los Angeles-area headquarters of the Southern Pacific Railroad. Owing to the site's industrial past, soil remediation is required prior to reactivating the Bowtie and G2 parcels as green space - a process than could cost more than $250 million.
The Paseo del Rio greenway, which will also require soil remediation, is expected to be completed in 2023, according to the Eastsider.
The Taylor Yard, which has been billed as the "crown jewel" of the more than $1-billion L.A. River restoration, will eventually connect to an existing multi-use path on the waterway's west bank via a new pedestrian bridge now under construction.
A mixed-use development featuring housing and retail space is also slated to rise along the northern perimeter of the park. That project has faced opposition from the non-profit organization Friends of the Los Angeles River, which has advocated folding the development site into the adjoining Bowtie parcel to be converted to park space.
- Glassell Park (Urbanize LA)