Monday, August 26, 2013

September 28 > Making LA > Lake and Lotuses: An Echo Park Lake Restoration Tour

Image courtesy of Sterling Davis
For our inaugural NEA Art Works-funded Making LA event we're visiting a piece of LA history at Echo Park Lake. Originally built in 1860 as a reservoir for drinking water, the lake and surrounding park recently underwent a two-year, $45 million rehabilitation. The trash, urban detritus and bacteria that killed the fish and flowers are gone. In its place are nearly 400 new lotus plants, spruced up walking paths, newly planted native greenery, and a restored fountain, boathouse and The Lady of the Lake. Plus, the pedal boats are back, as well as the recently opened Square One cafe!

Image courtesy of LA I'm Yours
Join us on September 28th for a tour of this beautifully restored piece of parkland paradise that once again serves as Echo Park's backyard. We'll be hearing from the architects, engineers and politicians who helped make it happen, followed by a BYOP (bring your own picnic!) by the lake.

Echo Park Lake Tour
Saturday, September 28
Meet at 11:30 in front of the boathouse

751 Echo Park Ave
Los Angeles CA 90026

RSVP here

Street parking only. Metro lines 92, 4, 2, 704 are all nearby, plan your trip at

Please wear comfortable shoes as we will be walking on uneven terrain, and bring sunscreen, a blanket, a frisbee, a picnic and anything else to enjoy a day by the lake.

Our plan for the day:
  • 11:30 a.m. Meet in front of the boathouse
  • 12:00 p.m. Tour begins with opening remarks by newly elected councilmember Mitch O'Farrell from Council District 13.
  • 12:15-ish We will then tour the park with Black & Veatch engineer Jim Rasmus and AECOM landscape architect Josh Segal, two of the key leads who oversaw this complex rehabilitation.
  • 1:00 p.m. We encourage you to bring a picnic or purchase lunch at Square One and stay to enjoy the park. Pedal boats will also be available for rent on a first come, first serve basis. 

Image courtesy of LA I'm Yours

A little more about the day's speakers:

Mitch O'Farrell
Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell was elected to represent Los Angeles’ 13 Council District in May of 2013. Prior to that, he served as a Field Deputy, District  Director, and as Senior Advisor to Council President Eric Garcetti from 2002-2012. Mitch’s accomplishments while on the staff of Councilmember Eric Garcetti  include restoration of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Echo Park Lake renovation and boathouse restoration, the Glassell Park Community and Senior Center, and improvements at the Los Angeles River, including new parks and miles of walking and biking paths. He worked on community gardens, farmers markets, increasing public safety, helping small businesses, and general quality of life improvements across the district.

Jim Rasmus
Mr. Rasmus is Practice Leader for Water Resources in the West for Black & Veatch.  He specializes in the planning and design of regional-scale urban stormwater systems that enhance water quality. While many of these projects are initially driven by stormwater regulations, Jim and his team have found creative solutions that integrate these projects into the local water supply portfolio.   Mr. Rasmus’ innovative ideas and leadership have led his clients to numerous awards for innovations in urban water quality including: APWA’s Best Environmental Project Award; Natural Resources Defense Council’s Beach Buddies Award; APWA’s Technical Innovation Award; Consulting Engineers and Land Surveyors of California’s Honor Award for Engineering Excellence; APWA’s  Project of the Year Award for Environmental Projects; and the Construction Management Association of America’s Public Infrastructure Project of the Year.

Josh Segal
Josh Segal is a landscape architect with AECOM’s Los Angeles office. His background includes project work for public agencies as well as private-sector clients, including the design of public realm urban spaces, transit-oriented design, ecological design, and recreation projects. As a project manager and accomplished designer, Josh provides leadership on projects in all phases from visioning and concept through master planning, schematic design, construction documentation, and implementation. Josh holds a BA in Communication from University of California, San Diego, and a Masters in Landscape Architecture from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Josh is a Registered Landscape Architect with the State of California and a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA).

This program was made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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  1. Warning: Due to LAPD's indiscriminate racial profiling engendered by the gentrification oriented Echo Parque Gang Injunction, the following people shouldn't attend so as to avoid being arrested or listed on the injunction: Latino youth, indigenous peoples, Spanish speakers, people wearing Dodgers garb, Latinos with tattoos, or the working poor. On the other hand, if you're white, wealthy (often the same thing), a 90026 property owner or prospective owner, a hipster, or otherwise moved into the neighborhood in the last five years you're welcome to attend — after all, the lake was remodeled just for you.

  2. Sorry I can't make this, will be out of town at a wedding. My hat's off to restoration team, in front and behind the scenes. I visit the park often and hope it is kept up.

    A couple of observations -- I notice trash in the lake and have photo'd it, documenting how the lake evolves as things settle in, flora and fauna, and the maint gents who ride Cushmans around and the younger man who walks with a net routinely pass it by. It's an easy dip, and I don't get why they don't bother.

    The other matter is the broken water sprinklers that have flooded many yards of lawn, at gym area and on west side of lake -- puddles there since opening, rafts of moss formed indicating long standing water. Should be an easy fix.

    Thanks from me, love the lake.


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