Los Angeles Designates "Red Car River Park"
Councilman Eric Garcetti Officiates Sign Installation On Pocket Park

LOS ANGELES, CA - On July 11, 2005 Los Angeles City Councilman Eric Garcetti and Friends of Atwater Village  announced "Red Car River
Park" with official installation of signage designating existing green space abutting the river where the historic Pacific Electric Railway once
entered Atwater Village.

"The L.A. River and the historic 'Red Car' Pacific Electric Railway converged many years ago in Atwater Village," said
Councilman Garcetti.  
"Today we reclaim the open space where the tracks crossed the river for a pocket park, and in doing so we also reclaim an important piece
of L.A.'s history."

"Our community of Atwater Village has lived by the river since the 1920s, but since then we've slowly walled ourselves off from this great
open space," said Sandra Caravella, local resident and founding member of
Friends of Atwater Village (FAV).  "Red Car River Park creates
an important gateway to the river," said Caravella.

Netty Carr, fellow resident and founding FAV member, said "We hope it will be the first of many safe and attractive access points that bring
more Atwater and Los Angeles neighbors out to rediscover the river."  Red Car River Park serves as the only river access point from the
neighborhood south of Glendale Boulevard.  The current site features a broad lawn that slopes up the the river bank, as well as a seating
area facing large pylons that once supported a Pacific Electric Railway bridge across the river.

"The Red Car crossed over the river from Silver Lake and into Atwater Village on its way to Glendale and then back to downtown", said Ann
Lawson of FAV, who remembers riding the Red Car through the  neighborhood.   "The Red Car was about taking people to places where  
they wanted to go.  We will soon paint a beautiful mural on one of  the pylons commemorating the Red Car.   Hopefully, its memory will  
bring out neighbors to someplace they may never have visited - the L.A. River."

In September of last year,  Friends of Atwater Village (FAV) hosted a fundraiser as its first effort to support Red Car River Park. FAV has
been working with
Garcetti's City Council District 13 and Clean & Green to remove the overgrown ivy and we will replant with native plants.

Through the Los Angeles City Neighborhood Matching Fund Program, FAV will create the mural and hopes to recruit Atwater Village
children of all ages to take part in  this project.  FAV's overall goal is to increase safety and access for residents seeking recreation and a
connection to the river.  The effort builds on a small pocket park installed by Northeast Trees on the Southeast side of the Hyperion Bridge
at the LA River.

Atwater is fortunate to have the soft-bottom section of the LA River - one of the most beautiful stretches of the river - as one of the
community's borders.  This portion of the river supports a wide variety of plants and bird-life, including one of the region's largest native
birds, the blue heron.

Project sponsors plan to reclaim more of the existing space with installation of walkways and planting more native plants.  "We hope to
make the site safer and more accessible for local residents seeking recreation and re-connection to the river," said Cesar Portillo of FAV.  
"Existing hardscape includes a bike rack, river- rock seating areas, which will be cleaned of graffiti. The end result will be a more visually
inviting and accessible park."
Netty Carr, Councilmember Eric Garcetti, Sandra Caravella, Ann Lawson, and Cesar Portillo
Summer 2005
Copyright © FAV, All Rights Reserved
webmaster@friendsofatwatervillage.org


atwater village news
back to atwater village news