New lotus beds at Echo Park Lake, Los Angeles, California
Opening day: June 15th 2013
“29 Acres of Paradise“
I am so excited! After a 2 year wait and 45 million dollars spent in renovations, Echo Park Lake is open again! I live in Angelino Heights, just a few short blocks from Echo Park Lake, and I feel so fortunate to enjoy this park everyday. To live in the middle of a busy, dense city and have this kind of access to nature and wetlands is amazing – you can’t really ask for a better place to live.
For those of you who don’t know, Echo Park Lake is a 125 year old lake/park on the east side of Los Angeles. It is a really stunning public space and has also been used for filming TV and movies since the black and white era. All sorts of projects, from Charlie Chaplin, to Chinatown to scenes from Gillligan’s Island has been filmed at the lake over the years. You have probably seen it in something.
In recent years the lake had become a bit rundown and was in need of a “triple bypass” as Eric Garcetti (our mayor-elect) said at the re-dedication ceremony. The famous lotus beds, planted in the 1920’s had died in recent years for unknown cause (probably some kind of water pollution). As part of the renovation the lake was completely dug out and re-built and 1/3 the surface area of the lake was converted into wetlands to support the migratory birds that regularly stop here.
The netting in the photos is there to protect the lotus, and it will stay on for 1 more year.
376 New Lotus — All Grown from the Original Plants
The lake originally had one lotus bed at the north end that was planted in the 1920’s. I was really excited to see that they expanded the lotus beds in the re-design. There are now three huge lotus beds in the lake. The lake is really surrounded by lotus blooms and you see them as you walk around the entire lake.
The new plants were grown from tubers stolen from the old lotus patch! Read more: How A Thief Saved Echo Park Lake’s Lotus Bed From Extinction
New wetland planting with the original fountain in the distance
Paddle boats will return to the main part of the lake soon
Our Lake Won the Lottery! (well, sort of…)
Map from www.lastormwater.com
A picture perfect day in LA – the original lotus bed is behind us