Table of Contents
The re-envisioning of the former Taylor Yard adjacent to the Los Angeles River in Glassell Park and Cypress Park continues with numerous projects in various phases of development.
The 100-Acre Partnership at Taylor Yard is a collaboration between the City of Los Angeles, California State Parks and the Mountains Recreation & Conservation Authority (MRCA) to remake a former railroad yard, which closed in the mid-1980s after 60 years in operation, next to the L.A. River.
With the exception of Rio de Los Angeles State Park, much of the property remains barren and sunbaked, with high-voltage power lines crossing overhead and Metrolink and freight trains rumbling past on the remaining railroad tracks. But advocates and planners see a tremendous opportunity for recreation along the L.A. River.
“Having sufficient open space is a huge need in this community,” said Brian Baldauf, Chief of Watershed Planning for the Conservancy.
There’s a lot going on with several major pieces. Here’s a breakdown of the various projects and proposals:
Paseo del Rio
This mile-long greenway along the Los Angeles River will provide access to the river for neighborhood residents. Last year the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy approved $10 million in grants to the 100-Acre Partnership. The MRCA is working on community engagement for plans for the project, and expects work to begin in early 2022 and be completed within four years. “We’re really at the beginning in terms of where we’re at with Paseo del Rio,” said MRCA Community Engagement Project Manager Joey Legaspi.
Rio de Los Angeles State Park
The 40-acre park opened in 2007 and includes sports fields, a playground and recreational facilities. The park is managed jointly by the City of Los Angeles and California State Parks, with the City overseeing the active recreation at the site and the State taking care of the passive habitat. The City has received $4.75 million from the State for improvements at the park; and an additional $750,000 in the form of a federal grant for construction of a new restroom, additional landscaping, irrigation and an ADA path-of-travel.
Purchased by the state in 2003, the Bowtie site gets its name from its shape. State Parks is still working on conceptual designs for the site, but it is proposed to be a naturalized open space area. There is no timeline yet for the Bowtie Project and funding sources are still being explored. “We’ve gotten a lot of positive responses,” said Stephanie Campbell, the State Parks’ program manager for planning, public affairs and community engagement in the Angeles District. “People are really excited about just more green space along the LA River.”
The Demonstration Project
Located within the Bowtie Project is a $3 million stormwater and habitat restoration project funded by the Nature Conservancy. This 2.5-acre “Demonstration Project” aims to create habitat and demonstrate how storm water quality can be improved by natural systems. The project is currently in the design and permitting phase with hopes of completion in early 2024.
The 42-acre G2 site is jointly owned by the City and the MRCA. Plans for the site are still in the early stages of developing concepts, public outreach and dealing with remediation plans to clean up the site. The project will be tackled in phases over the coming years, with the Paseo del Rio the first phase. As funding becomes available, the City will develop the rest of the G2 parcel into a nature-focused open space park. The City purchased the parcel for $40 million in 2016, and according to a Los Angeles Time report, the estimated cost to remake the site (including clean up of contaminated soil) could exceed $250 million.