Construction Begins on 30-acre Urban Orchard Green Space Along LA River

July 10, 2021
LOS ANGELES

Today The Trust for Public Land, with support from community members and local groups, announces the official groundbreaking of the Urban Orchard. This 7-acre park will provide 2,500 Los Angeles residents with quality green space. 

“The Urban Orchard project will fill a critical need for not only providing access to green space to densely urban community, but it will also improve water quality, provide habitat for fish and other wildlife, and increase climate sustainability through additional tree cover and native shrubs,” said Robin Mark, Los Angeles program manager for The Trust for Public Land. “This is a prime example of how public engagement can result in the creation of a beautiful community space that will benefit residents for years to come.” 

 The park will contain play structures, walking paths, orchard trees, and natural stormwater management through extensive green infrastructure. It will be open to the public all day and is located within a quarter mile to many residences in a densely urban Hispanic and Latino community. 

“The Urban Orchard is a tremendous representation of what I would like to see all along the Lower LA River,” said Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon. “The river is an asset that should be developed with the community’s recreational, environmental, educational, cultural and social needs in mind. I can’t wait to see residents and their families enjoying the Urban Orchard.” 

Once completed, the new park will provide local residents access to a new green space and over one-mile of trails along the LA River, with connections to the LA River bike path and Rio Hondo bike path. It will promote physical activity and healthy lifestyles in an area with high levels of obesity and asthma. According to the City of South Gate, in 2010 South Gate’s obesity rate in students reached 51.3%, one of the highest in the State. The CalEnviroScreen 3.0 pollution burden identifies the Project area as in the 100th percentile. 

“Urban parks and green spaces bring so much value to our communities and we simply don’t have enough of them in Los Angeles County,” Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán. “The Urban Orchard Park will bring great benefits to the people in South Gate and surrounding neighborhoods.  It will increase opportunities for exercise and outdoor recreation in new public parkland along the lower Los Angeles River and mitigate the impacts of air pollution through urban greening – ultimately building a healthier community.  I applaud the Trust for Public Land for working with local residents to design a park that will promote active lifestyles and correct environmental injustices.” 

Since 2015, The Trust for Public Land conducted extensive community engagement to achieve consensus on design elements. The design includes a large constructed wetland fed by an underground stormwater infiltration gallery that will extract and clean runoff in the Bandini Channel.  An education garden, fruit orchards, multi-use paths with fitness equipment, a nature-based playground honoring Tongva history, community buildings, and community-based artwork are some of the amenities incorporated into the design. Additionally, workforce training and development at the site by the Conservation Corps of Long Beach will provide employment opportunities to local youth.    

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About The Trust for Public Land  

The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Millions of people live near a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit www.tpl.org