MRCA Opens New Park Near the L.A. River
On March 30, 2011, Los Angeles River supporters, city officials, park advocates, and community members gathered in the early evening to dedicate the first phase of a new public park space near Downtown, and a striking new addition to the effort to revitalize the Los Angeles River. Los Angeles City Councilmember Ed P. Reyes, Friends of the Los Angeles River President Lewis MacAdams, and a brass ensemble from the Santa Cecilia Orchestra joined the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (SMMC) and the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) to flip a switch to turn on new state-of- the-art interactive fountains which will produce spectacular water shows every day on the hour at the new Confluence Plaza.
“The Confluence Plaza is a major milestone in our vision of a continuous greenway along the Los Angeles River with parks, pedestrian and bike paths,” said Councilmember Reyes, who spearheaded the Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan. “This new plaza is a place where family and friends can enjoy picnics, water fountain shows and beautiful views of the hills. More importantly, it links the people to the L.A. River to rediscover our City’s history.”
Confluence Plaza is the first of several public park spaces that will be developed at the confluence of the Los Angeles River and the Arroyo Seco near the intersection of the Golden State (I-5) and Pasadena (110) Freeways. The new public gathering space and water feature not only creates a stunning new gateway to Cypress Park, and a place for neighborhood kids to cool off in the summer months, but also connects the community with the Los Angeles River.
Lewis McAdams, Gary Lee Moore, Joe Edmiston, Councilmember Ed Reyes, George Lange, and Romel Pascual at the opening for Confluence Plaza. Photo by Gary Leonard
“This is the oldest part of what became the city of Los Angeles,” said Joseph T. Edmiston, Executive Director of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. “The river confluence once provided one of the most reliable sources of drinking water for the new Pueblo. The city and eventually, its transportation corridors developed around it. We are here to link our city back to its river, and create a river greenway from the mountains to the sea.”
The plaza provides a lovely view of the verdant hills of Elysian Park— the City of Los Angeles’ oldest park (founded in 1886) and the southeastern tip of the Santa Monica Mountains. Significant to Los Angeles history, the plaza area is part of the Juan Bautista De Anza National Historic Trail. The Trail marks the Anza expedition of 1776 which led to the founding of the pueblo that later became Los Angeles.
Confluence Plaza is just a short distance from the Los Angeles River Center and Gardens, which the Conservancy acquired in the mid-
1990s, and the River Garden Park, built by the MRCA in 2000. The Plaza, which was once a brownfield site (and for that reason had to be developed with a mostly concrete cap) will now serve as a hub for bicycle connections to the River Center and the Elysian Valley section of the Los Angeles River Bike Path, which connects the MRCA’s mini parks along the river including Steelhead Park, Elysian Valley Gateway Park, and Marsh Park, and continues on to Griffith Park.
In addition to the fountains, the plaza includes benches and picnic spots for the enjoyment of the outdoor space and views. The future phases of Confluence Park include converting the public land on the corners across the street and adjacent to the river that currently house operations of the Los Angeles City Street Trees.
See the fountains for yourself! Check out the 8-minute show on the hour, every hour from 9am to 6pm. Times subject to change.
| Page 2
| Page 3
| Page 4
| Page 5
| Page 6
| Page 7
| Page 8
| Page 9
| Page 10
| Page 11
| Page 12