I am always looking for excuses to drive by or through the Sepulveda Dam Recreation area.
If you've driven down Balboa lately you'll notice quite a bit of construction going on in the upper corner near Balboa and Victory.
The Army Corps of Engineers is working on 'habitat restoration and enhancement' of Bull Creek in the Sepulveda Basin.
They are going to build a new island in that corner of the Park and have Bull Creek meander around the island on its way to the LA River. There will be bridges and nature kiosks along the way.
Last month the area you see was choked with Evil, Invasive Arundo, or OBnoxious Giant Reeds. Now it's clean and they have begun to dig the creek channel. The photo is from the bridge looking north to Victory Blvd. Great clouds that day, n'est pas?
The real creek is diverted and spills out just before the bridge on your way into the park. Another smaller channel above the creek feeds water from Balboa Lake, which gets its' water from the Tillman Reclamation Plant.
The new area should be attractive to the wildlife already living in the basin. Here's an egret near the water, behind the trees there is a sliver of blue from Balboa Lake. I think he's waiting for fish, but I wasn't able to score an interview. I was both exited to see him and horrified to see such a majestic creature standing in a creepy concrete basin with 'runoff'.
Here is a description of the work and where additional water will come from to feed Bull Creek from the California Regional Water Quality Control Board notes:
Enhancement: Urban runoff conveyed by Bull Creek has deposited trash and debris within the channel. The channel contains invasive species such as giant reed and castor bean. Enhancement will include removal of trash, debris, and invasive species followed by revegetation with native riparian species such as mulefat and willows. Flow to the 2,400-foot-long reach of Bull Creek (which currently consists of nuisance flow) and the 1,200-foot-long, oxbow, engineered channel would be augmented by water from Balboa Lake which would be gravity fed through a 1,200-foot-long, 12-inch diameter water supply line. Discharge of the water from Balboa Lake would occur at the northern end of the 2,400-foot-long reach of Bull Creek into a 20-foot by 100-foot concrete pool.
Here is a Map Link from the Army Corps:
The LAWQCB memo talks about the bridges but my governmentspeak is a little rusty. Can anyone explain what this paragraph means?
Construction of four single-span pedestrian bridges at various locations throughout the project area which would entail the construction of eight abutments located outside of waters of the United States.
Does that mean the bridges go from the island and reach International Waters offshore? Or does that mean bridges are going to be pre-fabricated by a non-US company? Or is this a typo?
For more info on the Sepulveda Wildlife Basin in general visit SepulvedaBasinWildlife.org.
If you are (or want to be) a 'stakeholder' visit the Lake Balboa Neighborhood Council.
There is a large bank of pink flowering cherry trees on the western edge of this project. I can't wait to see how it looks in spring with all the pink reflecting off the water.