On a beautiful San Fernando Valley morning, city leaders and community stakeholders gathered at the official groundbreaking ceremony for the Woodman Avenue Stormwater Capture Pilot Program.
Councilmember Cardenas remarked on the importance of infrastructure projects like this one to Los Angeles water quality and supply. He was joined by Nazario Sauceda, Director of Department of Public Works Bureau of Sanitation Services, Adel Hagekhalil, Deputy Director at Bureau of Sanitation Services, Andrea Alarcon, President of the Board of Public Works, Tony Wilkinson, President of the Panorama City Neighborhood Council, and The River Project Director Melanie Winter.
Councilmember Cardenas thanked all of the leaders and city workers for their cooperation on this project, and praised the design.
Neighborhood Council President Tony Wilkinson recalled the beginnings of this project, when the Neighborhood Council and The River Project sat down with watershed maps and identified opportunities to capture rainwater in their neighborhood. He said this project showed Los Angeles at its best, and was particularly proud of the neighbor-driven nature of the project.
Melanie Winter was thrilled to break ground for a project that has been in the works since 2005 as an outgrowth of The River Project's Tujunga/ Pacoima Watershed Plan. She spoke about the work she is doing with Ranchito Elementary students, to develop interpretive elements for the finished swale and pathway. After hands-on watershed science education, the students will create concepts for elements that explain how the new landscape works and what it is accomplishing. Neighbors will learn from these elements for years to come.
Melanie also took the opportunity to talk about the next phase of this neighborhood capture plan, the Los Angeles Rainwater Harvesting Project. With a grant from the California Coastal Conservacy, The River Project and its partners will help the Woodman neighborhood residents bring elements from the median project and other tools into their own landscapes.
View the slideshow by clicking on any photo at left.
Press release from the Department of Public Works:
MULTI-BENEFICIAL PROJECT TO IMPROVE WOODMAN AVENUE IN PANORAMA CITY
What: A news conference and groundbreaking ceremony for Woodman Avenue Multi-Beneficial Stormwater Capture and Median Retrofit Project
When: Thursday, May 24, 2012 – 8:30 a.m.
Where: Woodman Avenue and Strathern Avenue (Westside of intersection) – Panorama City, CA 91402
Who: City Councilman Tony Cardenas, Council District 6 Board of Public Works President Andrea A. Alarcón, Bureau of Street Services Director Nazario Sauceda, Bureau of Sanitation Assistant Director Adel Hagekhalil, Director of The River Project Melanie Winter, and Panorama City Neighborhood Council President Tony Wilkinson.
Background: This multi-beneficial green infrastructure project will retrofit the 3,500-foot-long asphalt medians on Woodman Avenue from Lanark Street to Saticoy Avenue. Enhancements include the installation of 99 new shade trees, approximately 27,000 square feet of native and drought tolerant landscaping, a permeable walking path, access ramps, and improvements to existing bus stops. These features will help recharge the groundwater basin, improve water quality, and alleviate local flooding. A naturalized vegetated swale and pre-treatment devices will capture, clean, and infiltrate nearly 1.5M gallons of stormwater in a single average storm, augmenting local water supplies rather than being flushed out to the ocean via Tujunga Wash and the Los Angeles River. The $3.4 million project is funded by State Proposition 50 funds, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and the Bureau of Sanitation, and will be constructed by the Bureau of Street Services. These city agencies and The River Project collaborated on this project with support from the Office of Councilman Tony Cardenas, the Panorama City Neighborhood Council, local organizations, and area residents. Work is scheduled to begin in June 2012.