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Willow Springs Wetlands Restoration Grand Opening

Release Date: 2017-10-23

This past Saturday, October 21, 2017, the Grand Opening was held for the Restoration of Willow Springs Park Wetlands, located at 2755 Orange Ave, Long Beach, CA 90806.

“This restoration will allow the public to experience the historical, natural surroundings of Long Beach,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “From hiking to nature exploration to educational experiences, this project will provide enhanced recreational activities and much needed open space for residents.”

The Wetlands Restoration Project is a 12-acre project within the 48-acre Willow Springs Park. It features a walking loop that takes visitors through a series of water-capturing bioswales that flow to:

  • Forty-three thousand square feet of restored seasonal wetlands.
  • Twelve acres of open space with native plants and trees.
  • A constructed spring mimicking the original artesian spring that provided water to early Long Beach.
  • A water retention basin that cleans and diverts water from the Los Angeles River to be reused onsite.
  • An outdoor classroom for environmental education.

“The City has worked to transform this area from an inaccessible rugged landscape to a wetlands and recreational area,” said Councilmember Roberto Uranga. “I am eager for the public to enjoy the views and the opportunity to relax and enjoy nature.”

The project included:

  • The removal of non-native trees and damaged piping.
  • The planting of approximately 200 native and riparian tree species and 6,440 native drought-tolerant plants.
  • Installation of 209,000 square-feet of irrigation.
  • Construction of 43,000 square feet of ponding areas and 1,700 square feet of bioswales.
  • Conversion of a dirt access road to a 2,400-foot pedestrian trail with public access via entry points at Orange and California Avenues.

Funding for this project comes largely from the Urban Greening for Sustainable Communities Grant Program, funded by the California Natural Resources Agency through Proposition 84, which awarded Long Beach $924,000 in June 2014. Take a stroll down the walking path to see what the restoration has accomplished, and keep coming back to witness how the plants continue to change the landscape of Willow Springs Park.