13 Dec NEW PROJECT COMING TO BOWTIE STATE PARK TO DAYLIGHT STORM DRAIN
To further the mission of ecological restoration along the LA River, an exciting new project is underway to daylight a storm drain on the Bowtie Parcel, a crucial State Parks property within the 100 continuous acres of open space along the mid River.
The Nature Conservancy is partnering with the property owner, California State Parks, and proposing an approximate 1-acre stormwater demonstration project on the 18-acre Bowtie parcel at Taylor Yard owned by California State Parks. For over a century, this site was a Union Pacific Railyard, used for railcar switching and locomotive washing-equipment storage; as a result the Bowtie Parcel is considered a brownfield site, meaning it’s a post-industrial property known to contain hazardous contaminants. In 2003, California State Parks purchased the site which is currently undergoing transformation to clean-up and heal the site as it becomes public open space on the LA River.
While this project presents a unique opportunity, daylighting streams, creeks, and storm drains is a common push among environmental advocates to improve water quality and increase riparian habitat, especially in urban ecosystems. Bringing back to surface water that otherwise would tunnel storm runoff directly into the River affords the opportunity to slow water velocity, filters stormwater, and creates ecological habitat that strengthens our urban ecosystem.
This demonstration project also intends to educate the public and agencies about the benefits of nature-based projects on the LA River. A nearby example of what the final project will look like can be found at North Atwater Park (seen left), where a storm drain has been daylit and landscaped with native vegetation and river rocks, fostering a natural habitat that removes pollutants from water on its way to the River.
To further this project, The Nature Conservancy applied for and received a technical assistance grant from EPA to conduct additional sampling at the very north end of the property where the project will take place, not far from where the 2 Freeway and the LA River meet. Under the technical assistance framework, the EPA hired a local contractor, in this case Weston Solutions, Inc, to develop a soil sampling plan, execute it, and analyze the results. You can view their soil sampling plan here (Link), note that it is technical in nature and identifies the type of contamination to test for and exact locations of the sample sites.
Weston will be on site to collect soil samples from Dec 16th-18th. They expect to be on-site 7am-12pm Monday and Wednesday, an on-site 7am-5pm Tuesday. Soil sampling has previously been conducted on this site in 2003 when CA State Parks purchased the property and again in 2015. The results are available to the public, you can review the 2003 site assessment report (LINK) and it’s accompanying removal action workplan online (Link). You can also view and the lengthy 2015 soil sampling report online , provided by DTSC (LINK). The results of this next round of soil sampling should be available in early 2020, and the Nature Conservancy will keep interested community members updated on their progress.
The Nature Conservancy is the lead on the Bowtie Demonstration Project, if you have questions, directed them to Kelsey Jessup (kelsey.jessup@TNC.ORG) or Miguel Ramos (miguel.ramos@TNC.ORG) at The Nature Conservancy. The Prevention Institute, Mujeres de la Tierra, and Friends of the LA River are partnering with The Nature Conservancy on this project to improve environmental health and increase wildlife habitat along our one and only LA River.