1976

Once a runoff area of the Los Angeles River, DeForest Park is redeveloped to offer amentities including hiking trails, baseball fields, tennis courts, and a community center.

 
 

Once a runoff area of the Los Angeles River, 15 acres of land was reshaped into DeForest Park in 1976 for local residents to use as a venue for community events and to offer amenities like hiking trails, baseball fields, tennis courts, community centers, and more.

According to the City of Long Beach, “34.91 [additional] acres is used as the DeForest Nature trail, which the City uses through a Los Angeles County Flood Control District permit. This is a County detention basis, used to hold floodwaters until the Los Angeles River can accommodate the additional flows. The use permit to use the area was the result of a vigorous grass root community campaign to create the nature area. A trail was created through the basin and donated plants installed by volunteer labor.

By 2000, the area was overgrown with non-native plants and dry weather runoff from the storm drain system had created trash and vector control problem. A feasibility study was undertaken to see if the basin could be restored as a natural wetland habitat while retaining its flood control function. When the restoration was found feasible in 2004, plans were developed and an Environmental Impact Report certified in 2006. The City has partial funding for the restoration from the Los Angeles County Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond Act of 1996, and is seeking remaining funding to undertake the restoration.”

Sources we used and further reading on this era of Long Beach:

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Image Caption

New Nature Trail in DeForest Park. Image courtesy of Long Beach Littles.