Park Site Assessment Success Stories

Albion Park

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The Programs used a $500,000 sub grant from US EPA to complete remediation at Albion Park. The project site was originally a Swiss Dairy distribution facility. Swiss Dairy vacated and turned the site over to the City. The relatively flat property is located in central Los Angeles at 1739 Albion Street. Union Pacific Railroad tracks bordering the site on the west end in a 20-foot wide strip. Directly west of the train tracks is the channelized Los Angeles River.

Prior to purchase of the property, the City conducted environmental assessments to identify hazardous materials on site that required remediation. The site was previously used as a brewery, a warehouse, a junk yard, a metal pipe factory, and an automobile repair facility. It is known that vehicle fuels were used on-site and may have been spilled, resulting in soil and groundwater contamination.

Soil testing during demolition of the facility revealed higher levels of contamination than anticipated, showing a wide presence of lead, petroleum hydrocarbons, and semi-volatile organic compounds in excess of allowable concentrations for recreational developments. Some of this unforeseen contamination was within the building footprints of an operational dairy processing facility.

Remediation activities were performed and contaminated materials removed and properly disposed off-site between the months of April-June 2013 to leave the property in a healthy, clean and graded condition. Further development into a finished park will be completed by the City’s Department of Recreation and Parks.

The site was identified in the Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan as a site for a river park and recreational facility. Amenities include pedestrian paths, continuation of the LA River bike path, and educational uses. A multi-use public plaza showcases the water quality benefits of permeable surfaces, which may allow for infiltration of urban runoff and provide education value. The Grand Opening took place on March 30, 2019.

Wetlands Park

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The Wetlands Park was constructed on the former site of a Metropolitan Transit Authority vehicle maintenance and storage yard. The Program applied for a grant and received $200,000 from the US EPA to pay for cleanup at the site. The site is developed as a nine acre park that provides an open space and recreation in a densely occupied neighborhood that lacks adequate park space. The Wetlands Park incorporates a constructed wetland that cleans storm drain water and attracts wildlife. A portion of water flows from a local storm drain, which is treated and then routed to the park’s wetlands area. The wetlands provides supplemental polishing of storm water flow so that the water can be used for irrigation and other suitable water re-use within the project area, or discharged back to the storm drain. The Park has been open since February of 2012.

Rockwood Park

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Following tenant complaints of methane and hydrogen sulfide gas leaks, Then-Councilmember (currently Mayor) Eric Garcetti worked with the Program to obtain funding for assessment and cleanup of this former oil drilling site. The City purchased adjacent properties and construction of a new half-acre park was completed in May of 2011.

Gaffey Welcome Park

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The Gaffey Welcome Park was constructed on the site of a dilapidated, abandoned gas station that for many years was an eyesore at the entrance to San Pedro. The Program worked with community members, Council District 15 and the former Community Redevelopment Agency( CRA/LA) of Los Angeles to overcome barriers to developing this site. The Program helped to obtain a US EPA UST fields grant to pay for removal of underground tanks from the site. CRA/LA eventually purchased the site and transformed it into a beautiful park welcoming visitors and residents to San Pedro.

Bandini Canyon Pocket Park

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The Bandini Canyon Pocket Park was an undeveloped long, narrow 7.4 acre property stretching along four blocks of a residential neighborhood. It has now been developed into a linear park with a beautiful walking trail. This park is located just west of the Gaffey Welcome Park. At the very early stages of this project, the Program funded a Phase I site assessment that determined there were no contamination issues which would obstruct development of the site.

Damson Oil

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The Damson Oil site in Venice was turned into a beachfront skate park. The Citywide Brownfields Program (Program) funded cleaning up oil storage and drilling infrastructure, including removal of underground storage tanks. The site is now a skate park that is part of a multipurpose recreation center that includes picnic areas and children’s play areas, sports fields, and more.