Echo Park Lake clean up no walk in park

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Los Angeles Public Works officials are planning to get the trash and muck out of Echo Park Lake and make it greener and more sustainable with improved water quality.

Design plans aren't yet final, but the list includes solar-powered lamps, a new Lotus bed and a new environmentally-friendly pathway around the water.

The money to make it all happen comes from Proposition O — the Los Angeles-voter approved $500 million bond measure passed in 2004. The Echo Park Lake Rehabilitation Project's cut is $65 million for construction.

The rehabilitation project would improve water quality in the lake and in the downstream Los Angeles River watershed. Park conditions that include non-contact water recreation, warm freshwater habitat, wildlife and wetland habitat would also see improvements. The use of municipal waste to maintain the level of the lake would also be reduced and help meet the Clean Water Act's TMDL [total maximum daily loads] standards.

Work is scheduled to start next spring and last two years.

But completing the project won't be a walk in the park. Engineers expect construction to last two years and the list of temporary inconveniences could include:

  • A rotten eggs smell from hydrogen sulfide as tons of muck gets excavated

  • That smelly dirt left for days to dry before trucks haul it away

  • Visual and noise impacts near residences, churches, and businesses

  • Disruption to park users

  • Disruption of lake habitat (birds, fish, turtles, and other wildlife)

  • Some loss of street parking adjacent to the park

  • Minor, periodic traffic interruptions on adjacent streets

The Department of Public Works is asking for people to submit comments about things that are culturally valuable or worth preserving at Echo Park. Residents have until August 30 to e-mail Maria Martin at Or, snail mail her at:

Bureau of Engineering
Att: Maria Martin
1149 South Broadway, 6th Floor
L.A. CA 90015

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