Before it was slathered in concrete, South Los Angeles was densely forested with oak trees interrupted only by a series of streams that fed the Los Angeles River. Now the industrial neighborhood is responsible for unchecked polluted storm water and a host of other environmental concerns. That’s why turning a former MTA bus parking lot into a nine acre wetland that efficiently processes storm water runoff is such a major turn of events. It took $26 million and nearly three years, but the city now has a way to deal with water pollution and residents have a dedicated, city-funded green space. Paths and boardwalks welcome neighbors to peruse the grounds, read about wetlands and engage in the education center and museum planned for construction.
The numbers are pretty impressive, too. At full capacity the South Los Angeles Wetland Park can process up to 680,000 gallons of stormwater per day.