North Atwater Creek in the Rain

November 20, 2011 § 5 Comments

North Atwater Park's new stream swollen with rain. Griffith Park's recognizable Beacon Hill is in the background. All photos by Joel McKown

Creek Freak reader Joel McKown sent us these photos of North Atwater Park doing its job during today’s rains. For more background on this creek restoration park project, see the post from earlier this week (follow links there for details.)  « Read the rest of this entry »

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Do you want to celebrate the water?

October 10, 2011 § 4 Comments

Ballona Creek rain garden celebrating during recent rains

Creek Freak’s Jessica Hall has the money line in Emily Green’s L.A. Times Dry Garden column last Friday:

This much I know as I estimate rainwater and consider how to manage it: Although the new system must function, it also must be beautiful. Earlier in the year, as I was babbling proudly to garden designer Jessica Hall about the plan to whisk half the roof water through concealed piping to the rear orchard, she asked, “Do you want to celebrate the water?”

A strong degree of brute efficiency will clearly be necessary, but as the first rains wash into L.A. County, the answer to Hall’s question is an unequivocal yes. Yes!

Read the full article here. Thanks Emily Green and Jessica Hall!

(Speaking of celebrating water, albeit in bigger more institutional ways, check out Jane Tsong’s Creek Freak article on Seattle’s new wastewater facility, also covered at Circle of Blue.)

Processes of becoming: water and wastewater in some Northwest urban landscapes

October 2, 2011 § 5 Comments

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Last week I spent time in a city where rivers and streams are so much a fabric of the culture, they are a character in public life, possibly even approaching equals along with salmon, Microsoft, clearcut forest, and eagles… « Read the rest of this entry »

Heavy Rains Reveal Creek Streets

March 22, 2011 § 3 Comments

After Sunday’s daylong rainstorms, the rains ended and the sky still looked plenty cloudy Monday-yesterday, I bundled up and was bicycling into downtown, when I came to this massive puddle across from LaFayette Park. The photo shows the south side of Wilshire Boulevard between Commonwealth Avenue and Hoover Street. I didn’t get a shot of it, but there was a least a couple of feet of water in the park itself. The southwest corner of the park, normally enjoyed by lots of skateboarders, was being enjoyed by a half-dozen ducks.

Yesterday's post-rainstorm pond, Arroyo de la Brea re-emerging on Wilshire Boulevard across from LaFayette Park

Creek Freaks will recall (from Jessica’s earlier article Commerce over creeks at Wilshire + Hoover and other mentions since) that this particular dip in Wilshire Boulevard, and this part of LaFayette Park, were historically Arroyo de la Brea – a creek tributary of Ballona Creek.

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How to figure out a fifty-year storm (and other storms too)

December 22, 2010 § 4 Comments

Blue lines indicate 50-year rainfall predictions for Los Angeles over a 24-hr period. See below for how to use this map. Source: Los Angeles County Hydrology Manual Appendix B

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What’s Up with this “Dry” La Niña Year?

December 21, 2010 § 3 Comments

This year, it’s La Niña – a climate condition opposite from El Niño. I confess that I am not a climate expert and I don’t entirely understand exactly how hot and cold cycles in the Pacific Ocean actually interact with Southern California weather… but, generally, the basic equation is that El Niño brings wetter winters and La Niña brings drier ones. Various sources have been predicting a relatively dry winter. For example, this KPBS story Researchers Say Strong La Niña Means Dry Winter For California states:  “Researchers say a strong La Niña means below normal rainfall for Southern California…”

Los Angeles has experienced four consecutive days of healthy rainstorms, and a doozy predicted tomorrow. This afternoon’s L.A. Times article Strongest storm yet could bring flooding, tornadoes, hail and high winds to L.A. area predicts “thunderstorms, hail, and even waterspouts and tornadoes along the Southern California coast early Wednesday.” Could this possibly be consistent with La Niña? Well… maybe.

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Bimini Slough Ecology Park in Heavy Rain

December 6, 2010 § 5 Comments

View into the Bimini Slough Ecology Park's swollen creek - photo taken by Seth Ecklund in early 2010 - from the front sidewalk

Last night’s rain reminded me to share these pictures of the Bimini Slough Ecology Park at high-water flow. This park is one of my favorite local creek park projects; basically a block of street was unpaved to create a small park where rainwater runoff water flows through a creek bed. For lots more detail on the Bimini Slough Ecology Park, read this earlier article.

The photos were taken by the Bresee Foundation‘s Seth Ecklund – during a heavy rainstorm in early 2010.  « Read the rest of this entry »

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