A rainless winter means little water at the new wetlands park. Photo: Seth Strongin/TheCity Project
In South Los Angeles, a former bus and rail transit station has been replaced by a nine-acre park that includes native trees and plant gardens, walking trails and ponds that will filter storm water, using bacteria and plants to pull out pollutants before the water is fed into a storm drain.
The park, a former Metropolitan Transit Agency yard at Avalon Boulevard and 54th Street, was unveiled earlier this month and is the result of a three year, $26 million project. Some of the funding came through a bond measure that voters approved in 2006. Residents say the South Los Angeles Wetland Park offers a welcome change to the highly industrialized neighborhood, and an official with the Environmental Protection Agency calls the park a model for other cities that need new ways to safely treat polluted stormwater runoff.