City Council Approves Willow Springs ConstructionRelease Date: 2017-01-18
On January 10th, 2017, City Council approved the 11.5 acre park restoration project at Willow Springs. The project includes 1 acre of wetlands and 10 acres of upland restoration. Invasive plants will be removed and native plants installed to create habitat for native animals. This project extends the 3 acres of park already restored at Longview Point in 2012. Walking trails will connect Longview Point to the newly restored areas providing additional route options to visitors.
Willow Springs Park is a 48 acre, mostly undeveloped area. A little known aspect of the park is that it is the site of artesian springs that were tapped in 1881 to be the original water source of Long Beach during its founding as Willmore City. The former springs supported a creek and willow forest which almost certainly inspired the names of the two streets bordering the Park to the north and south, Willow Street and Spring Street.
The Office of Sustainability and Parks, Recreation and Marine partnered on this project to create a vision for the park that is truly sustainable. Park construction will use as much of the remaining infrastructure as possible, building on the history of the land as the original water source for the City and then as profitable oil fields. The new park will share the history of the land, while teaching visitors about the natural history of plants and animals that are reestablished.
Funding for this project comes largely from the Urban Greening for Sustainable Communities Grant Program, funded by the State of California Natural Resources Agency through Proposition 84, which awarded Long Beach $924,000 in June 2014. Park construction will begin this week and is expected to last through May 2017. Longview Point will remain open during this time and the public is welcome to come take in the view from the lookout as construction progresses. Longview Point at Willow Springs Park is located at 2755 Orange Ave., Long Beach, 90806.