NELA’s River Park: More Ideas, More Challenges

2018 Editions March Updates

City officials used an online survey last month to ask the public for ideas on how to transform the G2 industrial site in Cypress Park into a riverside park.

The Boulevard Sentinel got a sneak preview of NELA’s wishes when it posted a link to the survey on the its Facebook page, prompting a wave of comments. Most of the commenters wanted a bicycle-skills park at the site. Other ideas included a dirt-cyclist area, baseball fields, soccer fields and an indoor recreation center.

Imagining what the park might be is the fun part. But before anything gets built, the 42-acre site – a toxic former train yard – must be decontaminated. The City’s Bureau of Engineering recently told the Boulevard Sentinel that the decontamination has not yet started and there is no timeline yet for the work, though the aim is to have initial park programs up and running within two years and more programs in three-to-five years.

In the near term, the river channel itself is due for its spring cleaning, as some 10,000 volunteers organized by the nonprofit Friends of the L.A. River (FoLAR) participate in April in the 29th annual cleanup of the L.A. River. The river cleanup is entirely separate from the G2 site decontamination, but it has had to deal with its own pollution problem: Glyphosate, a chemical used by the Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) to kill weeds in the river, was listed by California last year as cancer causing. To accommodate the cleanup last year, ACE agreed to stop using glyphosate for four weeks before the cleanup and during the cleanup and is expected to do so again this year. Meanwhile, U.S. Congressman Adam Schiff, who represents many communities along the L.A. River, is continuing his efforts to completely end ACE’s use of glyphosate in the river.

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