February 17, 2012 by Robin Plaskoff Horton
In the refrain from one her most famous songs, Big Yellow Taxi, Joni Mitchell sang:
Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got
Till it’s gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot.
Mitchell might want to sing about the new South Los Angeles Wetland Park: the city of Los Angeles unpaved an industrial lowland parking lot and turned into a wetland park urban oasis.
Built on the site of an old MTA bus lot in South Los Angeles, the park took more than $26 million and nearly three years to complete the transformation from a parking lot to urban wetland park. Open to the public as of February 9, the new South Los Angeles Wetland Park will efficiently process storm water runoff while also providing an important community green space.
Funded in part from Proposition O, the new park will reactivate the area’s natural functions with kidney-shaped storm water pools, deep cleaning retention basins, and banks of native plants chosen for their ability to clean water. The nine-acre site will also provide meandering boardwalks and promenades that traverse the wetland to create a place of refuge for an urban Los Angles area seriously lacking in green space.
Photos courtesy of LADPW.