LOS ANGELES - The Board of the State Coastal Conservancy, the State agency responsible for the protection and restoration of California’s coast and waterways, has authorized the disbursement of up to $2 million to the City of Los Angeles to develop the Implementation Plan for the Taylor Yard River Park on the Los Angeles River.
Taylor Yard River Park is a 41-acre parcel adjacent to the LA River in the City, just north of downtown, which will be transformed into a public greenspace. This project is one of several Los Angeles Urban Greening projects sponsored by the Coastal Conservancy that aim to create parkland for communities, restore ecosystems and enhance flood risk management throughout the City.
“I have been focused on revitalizing the LA River for the better part of a decade, including fighting for the $25 million budget allocation that made it possible for us to acquire this parcel. We have a long way to go to realize our dream of a healthy LA river as a vibrant social and recreational center of our city, but today the future looks brighter than ever,” said California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles)
With this funding, the City will convene a project implementation team, including the Conservancy, Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, California Department of Parks and Recreation, Metro, Metrolink, USACE, various NGOs which are conducting restoration work and implementing the seasonal recreation zone programs near the site, and representatives of elected officials. The planning effort will include:
· A plan for safe near-term public access;
· A plan for long-term access, use and management responsibilities;
· A plan for restoring native plant and wildlife habitats;
· A revised site cleanup plan;
· Public engagement and involvement, particularly from the surrounding communities;
· Three buildable, scalable, phase-able design concepts that accommodate public access, habitat restoration and compatible recreation;
· A project financing plan outlining interim to permanent use options;
· A plan for long-term operations and maintenance; and
· A plan for construction of first phase of the Taylor Yard River Park within five years.
In addition, as part of the proposed project, the City will install fencing and signage to secure the site and protect public safety during the planning process.
“We are delighted to fund this work to get the Taylor Yard restoration process moving forward”, said Joan Cardellino, South Coast Regional Manager for the State Coastal Conservancy. “Taylor Yard will deliver so many benefits when complete – from creating new recreation space to restoring riparian habitats to decreasing the risk of flooding. Urban Greening in Los Angeles is important for the quality of life in the City, and to preserve the natural resources of Southern California.”
In addition to local (the City) and federal (USACE) federal prioritization of the Taylor Yard area, Taylor Yard River Park is a long-standing priority of the State as indicated in the California Resources Agency’s 2001 Common Ground Plan, the Conservancy’s 2002 Taylor Yard Multiple Objective Feasibility Study, and State Parks’ 2005 Rio de Los Angeles State Park General Plan.