Trust for Public Land Adds Two Key Sites to Los Angeles River Greenway (CA)

The Trust for Public Land (TPL) has added two key sites—both abandoned industrial properties, or “brownfields”—to emerging efforts to create a greenway of parks and recreational areas along the bike path that runs along the along the Los Angeles River southeast of downtown L.A.

TPL has been working with local cities, the County and the California Resources Agency to add park sites to a visionary plan to create open space along the River as it courses through densely populated, park-poor, immigrant and working-class communities on L.A.’s east side.

In Maywood, TPL purchased almost two acres of land, including an abandoned warehouse, from a division of Armstrong Tile, later conveying the property to the city. It is the second of six properties TPL is assembling into a seven-acre regional riverside park that will provide community recreational facilities, as well as a gateway to the River bike path, at the Slauson Ave. crossing.

Some of the sites are polluted with industrial contaminants, and one of them is a Federal Superfund site taken over by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Cleaning them up and making them safe for children and families will be part of the process of developing the park once the properties have been secured by TPL and the City of Maywood.

In Paramount, TPL conveyed the site of an abandoned warehouse on Somerset Blvd., just east of the River, to the city after purchasing it from its owners. A little less than an acre, the property will allow for the expansion of Dills (“Banana”) Park and the creation of a major gateway to the River bike path. The city plans to add parking, picnic tables and a rest area to the existing park.

And last week, the City of Bell Gardens broke ground on the development of a riverside pocket park and bike path gateway at Jaboneria Rd. and the River. TPL acquired that property on behalf of the city last year.

TPL is a national non-profit that works with private landowners, communities and public agencies to protect and conserve land for parks and open space, including playgrounds, historic landmarks and protected wilderness. It’s Los Angeles office works throughout the five-county area, with a particular emphasis on brownfields redevelopment in urban L.A. Since the mid-1970’s TPL has conserved over 6,000 acres of land in Southern California, and over one million acres nationwide.