(March 3rd, 2011; Los Angeles) – These days, it’s not enough to create a new greenspace in the City of Los Angeles. Like the rest of us, it has to multi-task. And, that’s exactly what the Whitnall Gardens Demonstration Project will do. Planned for a DWP right-of-way on Whitnall Highway, between Cahuenga Boulevard and Clybourn Avenue that is – let’s be honest – downright ugly, the Whitnall Gardens project will certainly spruce-up the area, with drought-tolerant landscaping to replace the bare-dirt that turns into a quagmire with each heavy rain there. It will include a walking-path that provides area residents a place to get out and exercise or just stroll; and drinking fountains along the way. But this project goes deeper – literally. There will be a storm-water catch-basin and permeable pavers that will reduce urban flooding in the area, using a series of gutters to direct runoff into the catch-basin and any overflow into nearby storm-drains. The captured storm-water will be allowed to percolate naturally into the San Fernando Valley Groundwater basin, much as nature intended – with a little help from our engineers and the excellent soil in the area, which allows for sponge-like infiltration at a rate of 8.2 feet per day.
Councilmember Tom LaBonge welcomed community members and city officials to the ground-breaking event for this multi-benefit project, which will cost around a million-dollars to complete. “This is a great collaboration among my Council office, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the Bureau of Sanitation, the MidTown North Hollywood Neighborhood Council and the community.” The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Water-Systems is kicking-in $200,000.00 for the project, as well as lifting restriction on use of the easement itself. Councilmember LaBonge says, “It’s something we’ve been working on for a long time, and I’m so pleased that we’re now able to break ground on this important recreation and beautification effort here in North Hollywood.” Construction is slated to begin at the site in the summer of 2011.. Michael A. Coia, Assistant General Manager of the LADWP Power System said, “In addition to beautifying the community by the addition of a drought-tolerant garden, we are creating an open interactive space and a stormwater capture site all in one.”