Photos by Baktaash Sorkhabi. Scroll through the gallery above for all images.
It’s not just California’s captivating desert fields that are blooming thanks to the region’s much-needed douse of constant rain this winter. Long Beach is going through its own super bloom, giving our city spots of purples, yellows, whites, oranges…
As you scroll through the gallery above, we focus on our three favorite spots to take a glance at nature’s colorization of our landscape:
Willow Springs Park
This 74-acre expanse of park land, a former industrial area that to this day holds living, active oil wells, is rich with history. Sitting between Orange and California Avenues from Spring to the Sunnyside Cemetary, Willow Springs Park has been owned by the City for over 130 years, when it was discovered to be the home of an underground spring and vast amounts of oil in 1882.
That discovery is precisely what allowed DTLB to flourish: with oil rigs moving in, it funneled money directly into the city.
Home to Longview Point—the highest point in the park that allows one to hold an incredible view of the city—and FARMLOT59, it is also home to a wealth of flowers: from bright yellow sunflowers to orange monkeyflowers, fuchsia gooseberries to purple Chaparral Mallows.
The future of Willow Springs Park is just as bright as the colors it blooms: a $1.4M contract to restore the wetlands was approved by City Council earlier this year. The project is expected to include “a system of bioswales and ponding areas to divert storm water and dry weather runoff, as well as an outdoor classroom.”
Dominguez Gap Wetlands
This stretch of natural wonder in North Long Beach sits between two side-channel wetlands parallel the Los Angeles River. Between its east and west basin, the wetlands account for over 50 acres of space that is home to birds—we’re talking ducks, blackbirds, hawks and cormorants, just to name a few—and, of course, flowers.
From the beautifully rust orange of the California Poppy to the red of Indian Brush, this wetlands is one of Long Beach’s most unique—and most beautiful following a $7M reconstruction that began in 2008.
We say “reconstruction” rather than “restoration” because these wetlands aren’t natural.
While adjoining DeForest Park, this space technically isn’t a park nor is it managed by the Long Beach Parks Department. Rather, it’s managed by the County Department of Public Works where the confluence of Compton Creek and the LA River meet. Most intriguing is the fact that these wetlands were constructed. Why? To not only provide a space for people to explore but, more utilization-wise, to treat stormwater before it enters the LA River to the Pacific Ocean.
Shoreline Pedestrian/Bike Path
We’ve been in love with the bluff adjoining Bixby Park ever since former-Councilmember Suja Lowenthal led the charge in creating an ADA-accessible, newly restored way to reach the beaches of our coastline.
Standing at its foot, one can see the tall, white lightposts match the tall, white yarrow with its fern-like foliage and bouquets of tiny white’n’yellow flowers. Found in meadows, pastures and roadsides across America, yarrow has long been used in herbal medicine not just for wound care but to increase appetite, ease indigestion and fight colds and flu.
If you stroll east of this point, you’ll notice the bluff is home to a plethora of other flowers: from the gorgeous velvets of Maritime Ceanothus and pinks of Island Morning Glory, the oranges of the California Poppy to the purples of Blue-Eyed Grass, the yellows of Beach Evening Primrose and the whites of Beach Strawberry…
And come later this year, we encourage you to venture toward Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden at CSULB, which is closed until April 2, and the jacaranda-lined Petaluma Avenue in East Long Beach, set to bloom in May.