A ceremonial groundbreaking for the much anticipated restoration project at the DeForest Park Wetlands will be held on Tuesday, December 1, according to officials with the city of Long Beach.
The celebration will take place at the south end of DeForest Park, 6255 DeForest Avenue, at 10:00AM and will include the attendance of Mayor Robert Garcia, Councilmen Al Austin II and Rex Richardson, and personnel from the departments of Public Works and Parks, Recreation and Marine.
“I am excited to see the City of Long Beach move forward with the restoration of the DeForest Wetlands into a natural resource for the residents of Long Beach,” Garcia said. “This project will create recreation opportunities and open space in under-resourced neighborhoods and is an important step forward in our restoration of the Los Angeles River.”
The project is meant to convert large areas of overgrown vegetation into a river parkway with freshwater wetlands, equestrian trails, wildlife habitat, and native plants, while retaining flood control and management properties, according to city officials.
It is expected to create almost three miles of re-created wetlands along the Los Angeles River, and will be a significant step in completing the 52-mile Los Angeles River Greenway, officials stated.
The 39-acre site spans the lower Los Angeles River, south of DeForest Park to Del Amo Boulevard and is bisected by Long Beach Boulevard.
“This is an exciting project that has been a long time in coming,” said Councilman Austin II. “Like the Dominguez Gap Wetlands to the south of Del Amo, the DeForest Wetlands will become a destination for nearby residents, as well as nature lovers, tourists and anyone looking for a great place to take a stroll and enjoy a little bit of nature in our city.”
The $8.3 million project—which was approved by the Long Beach City Council early November—is funded by grants from the San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy, Los Angeles County Regional Parks and Open Space District, California Natural Resources Agency River Parkways, and the State of California Coastal Conservancy.
“Restoring the DeForest Park Wetlands will create a new highlight along the road to the renaissance in North Long Beach,” said Councilmember Rex Richardson. “This incredibly important undertaking will provide a fresh opportunity for children and families to enjoy nature, and engage with this natural resource in our community.”
For more information about the DeForest Wetlands Restoration Project, call 562.570.3150.