Southern California environment news and trends

Tujunga wildlife corridor no longer a Wash for recreation, natural beauty

courtesy Kerjon Lee/LA County DPW

The Tujunga Wash of my childhood...or at least, what I remember from watching "CHiPs."

courtesy Kerjon Lee/LA County DPW

Newly-completed greenways often look a little sparse; they take some years to come in full and lush. But look at the color!

courtesy Kerjon Lee/LA County DPW

A sign about wildlife along a river makes basic birding plausible for the rest of us at the Tujunga Wash Ecosystem Restoration.

courtesy Kerjon Lee/LA County DPW

The newly-restored Tujunga Wash includes a small stream which aids in flood control and percolates water into an aquifer.

Federal and LA County officials are unveiling a newly completed restoration project in San Fernando Valley today. The piece they're standing on is the middle section of a new, grassy, tree-lined, riparian corridor in the Tujunga Wash. It's now 13,200 feet long, from Sherman Way down to Chandler Boulevard. Sorry looking concrete is removed for more natural looking streams, native plants and trees. The county's Kerjon Lee was kind enough to send on some pictures of the event because I couldn't get there; check out one before photo, and three afters, above.) 

LA County owns the newly completed connective tissue, between two federal projects. But it was cleaned up with federal dollars too. What that means in part is that flood control is an objective here, one reason why the county has contributed a stream in the Tujunga Wash to catch runoff when it rains, and feed the aquifer.

This area's turning itself into the kind of natural destination only urban LA can serve up, the kind with nature and native art. A concrete mural called The Great Wall tells LA's story over thousands of years as it runs alongside part of the wash near LA Valley College. Check out KCET Departures' Field Guide to the Tujunga Wash; it lays out a really nice walk in this area, but you can explore on your own, knowing that the guide picks out some food and amenities for you in the neighborhood. 

Tujunga Wash is an LA River tributary. Lawmakers and environmental activists say they hope restoration along the wash will boost efforts to do the same thing along the Los Angeles River. Certainly it's an example of something more common in the LA River swirl these days, which is successful (and funded) federal-local partnerships. 

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