01.24.09 Good News and Bad News

The good news is that plans are moving forward for the little riverbank-park-that-could: district 4’s North Atwater Creek Park expansion. The proposed plan – including landscaping, biking and hiking trails, picnic areas, scenic spots and signage along the river – was presented to the community by city officials this week thanks to much hard work and coordination by the folks at the Griffith Park Draft Master Plan Working Group, who recognized that by combining North Atwater Park, the North Atwater Stream Restoration site and a portion of an L.A. city service yard, money could be saved by bypassing an expensive acquisition of new parkland.

It’s good news because it takes one more big step in the direction towards connecting the surrounding community with the restored creek, the greater L.A. River greenway and longer bike trails along the river. Additionally, the location is near a neighborhood of working families, is close to bus lines, and will be in walking distance from the Chevy Chase Recreation Center.

But despite the good work and crafty compiling of lands by community activists, the Bad news is this: state funding for the park ultimately comes from Sacramento, which means that there is no funding at all for this “shovel ready” parkland link. Everyone’s keeping their chin up on this one: for example, this note from the district 4 website, “Design plans are moving forward in the hope that the project will be ready for construction when funds become available.”

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