Environment & Science

Park-poor South LA neighborhood gets 9-acre wetlands

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The city of Los Angeles opens a park at the site of a former bus terminal today.

The 9-acre site is in South L.A., at Avalon and 54th streets, and it's been a long time coming. Five years ago the L.A. City Council approved more than $8 million in bond money from Proposition O for the park.

Prop O money pays for projects that help L.A. comply with federal clean water laws; this site will help with stormwater management. What was a blighted Metropolitan Transit Authority bus yard is now a greened-up pocket park with water features and wetlands.

South Los Angeles, represented by Councilwoman Jan Perry, is one of the densest-populated in Los Angeles and it's park-poor. The South L.A. wetlands park will serve as an outdoor classroom to two neighboring schools – signs explain scientific names for plants and wildlife that kids can spot.

Planners envision a railyard museum and a neighborhood meeting center in the next phase of the park's development – perhaps as early as next year.