Images of Future Compton Creek Park
November 11, 2010 § 1 Comment
When the Environmental Protection Agency’s Lisa Jackson announced the L.A. River’s navigability determination in July 2010, that big announcement overshadowed the day’s other great news: the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority’s (MRCA) purchase of 4 acres along and in Compton Creek. Creek Freak’s Jessica Hall wrote about the Compton Creek park project earlier here – including showing the property map and discussing some possible cross-sections for restoration projects. Today, creek freak brings you some images: what the site looks like today, where the acquisition parcels are, and renderings of what the inital phase of the park could look like. Images are courtesy of Mia Lehrer + Associates and the MRCA.
The future park site is in the city of Compton on the city’s south edge, adjacent to immediately north of Artesia Boulevard and the 91 Freeway. It’s next to the Metro Blue Line Artesia Station, and just west of Alameda Street and Compton Community College. For folks familiar with the area, it’s alongside the casino and the new retail mall on the former auto mall site.
At the park site, Compton Creek, a tributary of the Los Angeles River, goes from concrete bottom to a more-natural earthen bottom with sloped concrete sides. Here are images of what the Compton Creek looks like there today:
The 4-acre park site, shown in light green on the aerial photo at the top of this post, is irregularly shaped. It looks like a U with wings, or the cross-section of an upside down hat.
The upstream portion of the park site is along the east bank of the end of the concrete box-channel stretch of Compton Creek. It’s surrounded by the Metro Blue Line train tracks, the creek, the parking lot creek lid, and the new retail mall.
Here’s a rendering of what the park is expected to look like on this parcel:
The elongated narrow park site then jogs over to the west bank of the creek, runs along the parking lot over the creek, then jogs back to the east bank of the creek where the soft-bottom creekbed begins. Below is a rendering showing the lower end of the future creek park. Phase one will be on the right-east bank, and subsequent phases will include land on the west bank adjacent to the casino.
Here’s a rendering looking east from the casino:
With one of the relatively few soft-bottom creek stretches in urbanized Southern California (left unpaved due to artesian waters upwelling there), this degraded site has quite a bit of habitat already and great restoration potential. The soft-bottom stretch has plenty of plant growth, including cattail and willow. It’s home to plenty of birds, including egrets and herons; it’s not uncommon to spot hawks looking over the creek from perches atop adjacent parking lot light poles. Though I don’t have a great photo down in the creek, the photos above and this one below give some sense of the existing complexion. Here’s Urban Semillas‘ Miguel Luna hosting a water quality monitoring event in the soft-bottom creek channel:
The area is quite degraded, with some serious pollution issues – especially visible are plastic and styrofoam trash. The future park will likely need to include some sort of trash capture devices – even better, the trash issues should be solved further upstream… but that will probably take longer than creating this park.
As Jessica’s earlier post explores, with acquisition of adjacent upland area, it becomes feasible to reconfigure the sloped concrete walls in this area. Retooled channel walls aren’t cheap, but could better support plenty of desired watershed goals: increased habitat, increased flood protection, more groundwater recharge (maybe – it’s possible that upwelling wouldn’t allow this?) and better access for us humans. Here’s an image exploring a possible channel wall greening:
Creek Freak looks forward to the new Compton Creek park. Keep your RSS tuned here and we’ll let you know when construction gets underway, and when it opens to the public.
[ Click on images for larger and additional images arranged on display boards - pdf files - or click here: 1 - Location Map and Conceptual Diagrams, 2 - Structure Massing Model, 3 - Creek Bottom Analysis, 4 - Site Perspectives, 5 - North Property A, 6 - North Property B ]