Woodman Avenue Median Retrofit


One of the project ideas that came out of developing the Tujunga-Pacoima Watershed Plan was the replacement of the 3/4 mile-long concrete median along Woodman Avenue in Panorama City. We created a naturalized swale that captures the runoff from the surrounding 120 acres and back into the groundwater rather than into the nearby Tujunga Wash and out to the ocean.

We partnered with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the City's Bureau of Sanitation and Street Services on a grant from Prop 50 to replace hardscape with something more natural and permeable while improving ecosystem function. We also partnered with Ranchito 4th and 5th grade classes and San Fernando Valley High School students in the venture, using a tailored curriculum which met state science standards and involved the youth in creating the project's interpretive features.

Community Meetings throughout the project informed and involved the neighborhood, taking input on design and use needs.

In a normal rain year, the project collects about 80 acre-feet of rainwater to groundwater, helping us rebuild a reliable local water supply. It will improve water quality, reduce storm flows and create native habitat, all the while contributing to a more pleasant, pedestrian-friendly neighborhood.