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|The naming of the "Red Car River Park"
|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 (*this mural project
was completed in October 2005). Hopefully, its memory will bring out neighbors to someplace they may never have visited - the L.A.
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
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."
|Click here for more information about our completed
"Revisit the Red Car" Mural project!
|Related FAV Projects and News...
"Revisit the Red Car" Mural Project
Turning underused green space into The Red Car River Park (a FAV e-News article)
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