This week, Los Angeles City Councilwoman Jan Perry took me on a tour of two urban wetland sites in South Los Angeles, one under construction and one fully built out.
The 9-acre site under construction at 54th and Avalon is an old MTA bus repair area. Councilwoman Perry’s office rounded up $26 million in funding to turn it into an innovative engineered wetland that will divert stormwater from an existing storm drain, run it through a hydrodynamic separator to remove oil, grease and trash, and transport it into a three-cell wetland for pollutant removal before the water returns to a downstream storm drain. Here is a photo of the construction site, with a new high school across the street:
After seeing this promising area, we went to a nearby site where the promise has been fulfilled: Augustus F. Hawkins Nature Park at Compton and Slauson in South LA. Formerly a pipe storage yard, there is now an 8.5 acre park that includes a 0.5 acre engineered wetland, the first of its kind in the City of Los Angeles. The wetland is surrounded by cottonwoods, willows, sycamores, cattails and yellow pond lilies and has two islands where ducks and other waterfowl can nest.
Here is a photo of a dramatic faceoff between two ducks and a turtle: