Echo Park Lake to re-open mid-May

It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly two years since we walked along the shores of Echo Park Lake, and it won’t be long until we can all enjoy it again. Last Wednesday was the final Echo Park Lake Oversight Committee meeting before the grand opening, where representatives from the Bureau of Engineering and Council District 13 joined community members in providing the final details on the project wrap-up.

The good news? The lake will reopen mid-May! Plans are to have a grand opening open to the public. A few notes on the rest of the items, including festivals, the Lotus blossoms, and more after the jump.

Lady of the Lake

The Lady of the Lake statue was reinstalled just earlier this year. This time she is at her original place, moved from the east side of the lake to the north side, and is also now facing north in the original position. She also has her fingers again after some vandals took a liking to the statue in 2010.

Lake Pathways

The pavement around the perimeter of the lake is made up of a porous pavement (a concrete mixture) and is a light tan color. Bicycles will not permitted on the path.

Lotus Plants

Currently the lotus bed, along with some of the other planted areas, have a thin netting around/over them. This is to ensure the plants have enough time to establish without the birds eating them away before they get big enough. The netting is temporary, but will take approximately one year before it is removed.

Blooms of the now one-year old lotus plants will likely occur next spring, depending on the weather. There were over 300 of the Nelumbo Nucifera species planted at the lake.

Fish and fishing

As always before, catch and release is the name of the game. While mosquito fish have already by introduced into the lake (for obvious reasons), fish will be stocked regularly in a year or so as long as the water quality is deemed good. That is, after all, the whole point of the lake rehab!

“Fish condos” will also be installed in a couple of weeks.

No festivals, for a while

The landscaping and sod are the final pieces to go into place before the lake opens, and needs some time to establish. This means the Lotus Festival, set to make its come-back this year, will not be happening at the Lake nor any other location. Other events like the annual Cuban Music Festival will also be delayed until next year.

The Boathouse

The Department of Recreation and Parks has release the Request for Proposals (RFPs) for the boathouse. They expect that in two months, more information will be available. However, the boathouse won’t be open for the lake opening.

The Island

We’ve never actually been on that small piece of land connected by the famous bridge, nor on the bridge itself. The plan is to open the bridge and island to the public only on special occasions because of the bird life, but some community members requested it be kept open.

Stay tuned for details on the grand opening in the coming weeks!

  • Mitz Y Tops

    I was on the island a few years ago during the brief time it was opened to the public. What was remarkable was the large amount of eggs just openly exposed to the public. I can only imagine what might have happened to them if the island was regularly kept open during nesting season. Also, those damned geese are mean! They chased my poor Boston Terriers all around the island to the vast amusement of the other spectators (and birds). Keeping it closed – at least during nesting season – is probably wise. Arf.

  • Tommy

    Why are there no bicycles allowed in the park now? It seemed like one of the safest ways for cyclists to avoid the danger of riding in mixed traffic on Glendale. I’m not a bicyclist but this seems really backwards and mean.

  • jamesmtbrun

    Typically it’s because people ride in a way that causes damage, endangers or scares people who are walking, and then ruin it for everyone else.

  • Michelle

    Good point regarding bikes at the park(@Tommy). If dogs (who terrorize geese) are allowed in the park, it would be wrong and nonsensical to deny bicyclists. Why not have signs for bicyclists instead of outright prohibiting bike riding?

  • Marek

    @Tommy, @Michelle – Bikes are not allowed in the actually park grounds because the new paths are made of permeable material. These paths allow water to seep through and filter into the ground unlike asphalt. If a bike were to ride on these paths, they would be damaged (also would potentially be easier for cyclists to lose control and crash on the softer surface).

    There will still be a concrete sidewalk that follows the perimeter of the park which is safe for cyclists to ride on.

  • Ed

    Has anyone confirmed that the Cuban Music Festival actually does have plans to reappear in 2014? That would be very exciting news. It hasn’t happened since 2010 due to funding.

    And while we’re on the subject, anyone know what’s going to happen to the statue of José Martí in the northwest corner of the park?

  • j

    does anyone know if there will be a dogpark or a dog friendly part within the park? im tired of having to go all the way to the reservoir.

  • Santiago

    In the city of L.A. Is against the law to ride bicycles in the park, they just did not inforce the law before.
    The sign was posted outside the boat house

  • DarrellKuni

    Glad lake is coming along, but IMHO 1/island should be closed to let birds nest and relax, safe from people, loose dogs and coyotes. 2/bikes are ridden around EP ‘hood by nice folks who follow all rules and regs of course but also some idiots, let’s be honest. I vote for their ban – restored lake should be for relaxation and recreation on foot.

    3/I am for the restoration of what was LA’s greatest urban fishery, old Echo Park lake, once the scene of Tom Sawyer-Becky Thatcher days, model boat races and wonderful fishing for a large variety of warm-water species: bluegills, sunfish, green sunfish, crappie, carp and Northern largemouth bass.

    Current plans are ‘to stock fish,’ but I’ve only heard of ‘catfish in warm months, trout in cooler.’ I think this is a problem: both species require more elaborate tackle and gear and techniques, not the kid-friendly cane pole & bobber fishing Echo Park was once famous for.

    I am now a catch-and-release fly-fisherman but I learned my early lessons at the old lake. I would like to bring the lake back to what it once was, establish a water-environment/ecology and fishing program for children, be they from the nearby areas or from around Southern Cal, and encourage you to think about lending a hand.

    A little outdoors education — and fun — can go a long way for the future.

  • Artcherell D.

    I hope they keep the boathouse and let people ride the boats. When I first ride one of the boats in the echo park lake, it was fun and it was peaceful in the middle of the lake; watching people walk by and some also having fun on the boats.

    I also hope a lotus festival starts soon,i love going to those to see the live entertainment and also every year I would see this one person who would do sculptures of people faces out of clay. It was amazing to see how that person sculpts someone into clay.

  • Pingback: Something new underfoot at Echo Park Lake | Eastsider LA | Hometown Pasadena |

  • sam

    Will there be any workout equipment like they have at Lincoln Park? That would be so awesome!

  • hazel

    do you know if there will be any picnic tables/spots?

  • Paul

    Does anyone know if there will be dragon boat races this year – 2013?

  • JENN

    HELLO,DOES ANYBODY KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO THE GOOSE”MARIA”THAT WOULD FOLLOW THE MAN ON THE SCOOTER????

  • la papi

    When is the Cuban fest? Is it postponed for 2013

  • angel jaimes

    bass,blue gill and cat fish all should be replaced back into the lake just like it was when i was child… please put large mouth bass back into this lake it was one of the only places in the city kids could learn how to fish for bass!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Christine

    @jenn. Maria the goose who they realized was actually Mario the goose is at the LA zoo. The man who he would follow visits him there where it is safer.

  • louis lau

    Because of my fishing experience at Echo Park lake as a young boy all the way till middle school I now own a Ranger bass boat and continue to fish for largemouth bass. Was a great fishery in the late 70′s early 80′s. Look forward to going back.

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