Making LA River Revitalization a Reality

City of Los Angeles, Bureau of Engineering

What and Where Is It?

The 42-acre Taylor Yard G2 River Park Project has often been referred to as “The Crown Jewel” of the Los Angeles River revitalization. The G2 Parcel is one portion of the original 244-acre property, and is the last piece in the puzzle that will connect over 100 acres of open space along the LA River in the center of Los Angeles-the second largest metropolitan region in the country.

Due to its size, context, and potential the Taylor Yard G2 River Park will be the first implemented project along the LA River of this scale and significance. The site is situated in the center of the LA Basin and in the middle of the Los Angeles River (at Mile 25) as it winds through Los Angeles County.

The Los Angeles River runs approximately 51 miles through urban Los Angeles and several neighboring cities to the Harbor and the Pacific Ocean. The first 32 miles of the River flow through the City of Los Angeles. It was once a natural river which changed its course and flooded the area several times. Its wild nature led to its concrete channelization beginning in 1938 and completed in 1960. While channelization provided valuable flood protection to adjacent people and property, it changed Angelenos’ relationship with the waterway and led to the River’s neglect. Views of the River have evolved over the past several decades and the River is now valued for its potential to reconnect and revitalize neighborhoods and restore diminished habitat for wildlife, while continuing to provide effective flood control.

With the extraordinary transformation of how Angelenos’ value the River, the City of Los Angeles and thousands of residents have rallied to support its restoration with the understanding that the River watershed is central to making Los Angeles a sustainable city. The River has significant potential for natural, community, and economic resources which, if harnessed, would present significant opportunities to revitalize the adjacent neighborhoods.

Guiding these initiatives, the City of Los Angeles' 2007 Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan aims to enhance existing communities by creating a safe environment with more open space, parks, trails, recreation, environmental restoration, riverfront living and commerce, new jobs, neighborhood identity, economic development, tourism, and civic pride.

Revitalization of the River is a joint effort among local, state, and federal agencies. Within the City of Los Angeles, the Arts, Parks, Entertainment, and River Council Committee and LARiverWorks in the Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti currently guide the revitalization efforts. The City’s Los Angeles River Implementation Team within the Bureau of Engineering is taking a lead role in the implementation process.

Aerial photo of site.
2007 ARBOR Study Concept for G2 Parcel.

Aerial photo of site.
LA River adjacent to Taylor Yard.

The G2 Parcel also falls within the center of the US Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles River Ecosystem Restoration Project, often referred to as the ARBOR or "Area with Restoration Benefits and Opportunities for Revitalization" Study. This Study focuses on the soft-bottomed 11-mile stretch of the LA River known as the Glendale Narrows. It calls for over 700 acres of riparian restoration in the coming decades; G2 will be an essential part of that effort.

Because the G2 Parcel is in important proximity to other natural open spaces within our region, it will help to serve as essential stepping stones for a wide variety of different species, helping to achieve more regional habitat connectivity along the LA River corridor and in between the Santa Monica Mountains and other surrounding uplands, hillsides, forests and headwaters.

The G2 Parcel’s location in the middle of many River communities offers the important opportunity to ensure that that impact is a positive one. Made up of neighborhoods like Cypress Park, Glassell Park, Elysian Valley, Lincoln Heights, and Atwater Village, these communities play an essential component in the revitalization of the LA River, and are also the Angelenos most impacted by the change in the form and function of this urban waterway. Additionally, directly alongside the LA River and next to the G2 Parcel are the Rio de Los Angeles State Park, California State Parks’ Bowtie Parcel, and Sonia Sotomayor Arts and Sciences Academies, a complex of high schools and one middle school dedicated to serving the local community.