Thanks to a $924K grant, the City of Long Beach will be able to improve the wetland areas at Willow Springs Park while also increasing accessibility by way of expanded trails.
The park sits on Orange Avenue between Willow and Spring, offering 47 acres of park space to North Long Beach, or what is largest park space developed in Long Beach since El Dorado opened in 1952. 12 of those acres will be the site of the improvement project, set to feature an outdoor classroom site and, more impressively, a system of bioswales and ponding areas that will function to divert stormwater and dry weather flows. This will ultimately help keep the water onsite and “recharge” the groundwater through infiltration.
This makes both the LA River and the Pacific Ocean very happy.
The Urban Greening for Sustainable Communities Program Grant was funded through Prop 84, also more prolixly known as The Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Bond Act of 2006. It authorized $5.388B in general obligation bonds to fund projects such as the wetland areas improvement project.
The park will also be receiving help from the City itself: the new budget for this year designates $350K in one-time revenues as matching funds for the Willow Springs Wetland Project.
Additionally, a $50K technical assistant grant from the Southern California Association of Governments to further improvements and a $15K grant from the Long Beach Navy Memorial Heritage Association for a signage program to interpret the history of Willow Springs Park have been awarded.