Maintenance of the Silver Lake Reservoirs Pathway, an issue of primary importance to the Silver Lake Reservoirs Conservancy, has gained some key support in recent weeks.
The Conservancy has learned that the offices of City Council members Eric Garcetti and Tom LaBonge have contracted with the Los Angeles Conservation Corps to provide regular maintenance of the path and landscaping for one year. Conservation Corps crew members, composed of trained at-risk teens, are now coming every other Friday to perform light maintenance on the Armstrong Avenue segment of the path and adjacent landscaping, as well as cruising around the entire reservoir path to pick up trash and dead tree limbs and pull a few weeds. The Corps has also started a survey of the irrigation problems in the landscaping along the Armstrong “up and over” to determine what repairs are needed to the system and how they can be completed. Plans to plant new landscaping along this section of the path are also being considered.
Silver Lakers will have to wait at least four more months to enjoy the improvements now underway on the east side of the reservoir complex. Completion of the newly reconfigured walking path along Silver Lake Blvd. has been pushed back until late September at the earliest, according to Heather Repenning, Director for Community Development in Councilmember Eric Garcetti’s district. The path was originally slated for a summer opening. Ms. Repenning cites the winter rains and slower than expected engineering work on the lower section of the path, just above the dog park, as reasons for the delay.
Meanwhile, the opening of the “meadow” space, near Silver Lake Boulevard and Armstrong Avenue, may take even longer. After an extended community dialogue, Councilmembers Garcetti and Tom LaBonge announced plans in January to open just over half of the grassy, six acre expanse for “passive” recreational use, such as walking or sunbathing. It was initially anticipated that the space would open to the public at the same time as the walking path. Ms. Repenning now pegs the odds of that happening at about 50-50.
City officials are planning to use funds from a state parks bond to pay for the improvements to the property, which include drought-tolerant landscaping, a decorative fence along the outer border of the meadow, updates to the irrigation system, and several benches. If those funds are not available before the September opening of the walking path, a temporary fence will be erected, which would not allow community access to the meadow. Under that scenario, all the planned improvements to the park would be approved and installed before opening. That is not likely to happen until Spring, 2009.