Sunnynook River Park Groundbreaking

July 25, 2012 § 8 Comments

Sunnynook River Park groundbreaking: golden shovels lifting ceremonial soil. Visible from left to right City Engineer Gary Moore, Councilmember Garcetti, Councilmember Reyes, Councilmember LaBonge, Recreation & Parks Assistant General Manager Kevin Regan, FoLAR founder Lewis MacAdams, and State Assemblymember Mike Gatto

Before a crowd of about 90, the city of Los Angeles broke ground on Sunnynook River Park this morning. The new Atwater Village park will be located in the mostly vacant area on the southwest bank of the Los Angeles River, between Glendale Boulevard and Los Feliz Boulevard – immediately downstream of the Sunnynook footbridge. The ceremonies were lead by Los Angeles City Councilmember Tom LaBonge, and included remarks from representatives from various city, state, and federal agencies and groups.

Friends of the L.A. River’s Lewis MacAdams speaks at the Sunnynook Park groundbreaking

Speakers included LaBonge, City Councilmembers Ed Reyes and Eric Garcetti, City Recreation and Parks Assistant General Manager Kevin Regan, Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority’s Lisa Soghor, FoLAR’s Lewis MacAdams, Trust for Public Land’s Carolyn Ramsay, City Engineer Gary Moore, and Army Corps of Engineers Colonel Mark Toy.

L.A. Creek Freak wrote about the planned 3.4-acre Sunnynook River Park back in 2008 when it was being planned, and in 2009 when LADWP approved the park existing under their power lines. Though it’s not a big project, it’s been delayed a bit by state and city budget shortfalls.

Sunnynook River Park location

Location of the planned Sunnynook River Park (from LAist)

It’s a fairly small all-natural, all-passive park, accessible mostly via the L.A. River bike path and via the footbridges that cross the 5 Freeway and the river. The site has had its problems over the years. It’s bordered by the 5 Freeway and the river, so it has been home to homeless encampments, mostly on the freeway-side of the site, maintained by the state transportation department Caltrans. Hopefully the park improvements can create a green space where everyone feels welcome and safe.

Construction gets underway now, and is expected to be completed in the spring of 2013.

(Apologies to dear LACF blog readers for not announcing this groundbreaking event in advance – for quick announcements, lately, sometimes I just post to the L.A. Creek Freak Facebook group page.)

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§ 8 Responses to Sunnynook River Park Groundbreaking

  • […] With this blueprint, the city is slowly acquiring little-used or abandoned industrial lots and railroad sidings where new parks, transit districts, and flood-control wetlands might be built. Several new wetland parks have already opened and are already helping to make the L.A. River cleaner and more wild. The latest riverside park, in the Los Feliz neighborhood, just broke ground last week. […]

  • BarbaraE says:

    Hey Joe. Just wondering – and I could probably find out by looking more on the web – is there a map showing all of these little park projects along the LA River and tributaries? I’d love to see them sprouting and spreading along the rivers. I’d also love to see our little nature park in South Pasadena ( in the larger context of the LA and Arroyo Seco watersheds. Thanks – Barbara

    • Joe Linton says:

      I don’t know of a definitive map that’s kept up to date. There was one at The River Project website, and in Jenny Price’s L.A. Weekly guide to the river about 10 years ago… but lots of new small parks keep popping up… in fact I spotted an entry-point mini-park (I think an L.A. County project???) under construction this past week at Dallas Street (I think) in Elysian Valley that I didn’t know about…

      Maybe we need some kind of moderated-crowdsource Wiki-Map website where folks can add creek/river parks.

      • Eric B says:

        Hi Joe,

        That street-end park at Dallas is a MRCA project, funded by the Natural Resources Agency’s River Parkways program. It’s part of a series of street-end and landscaping improvements along the LA River in the Elysian Valley.

      • Joe Linton says:

        Is there a link to info on that project? Looks like there 2-3 Elysian Valley streets that are getting new entry point stuff.

      • Eric B says:

        There’s no website for it. The other two streets getting improvements are Gatewood and Fernleaf, although Dallas is by far the most comprehensive. There are also wayfinding and interpretive elements going in.

      • BarbaraE says:

        Yes, a moderated wikimap would be awesome! I envision data on each green space like dates, organizations, funding?. Stream daylighting to be included when it happens. I guess the first step is to learn about GIS and the best software. Maybe google earth or google maps would do. Just thinking.

  • We live right by this park on the Atwater side and I was wondering about the cleanup. This is fantastic!!

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