Los Angeles City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, along with the Department of Public Works and Recreation and Parks, joined the Venice community in celebrating the completion of a massive stormwater project at Penmar Park.
The $14 million voter mandated Prop O project promises to improve the quality of stormwater runoff that empties into the waters off Venice Beach. The project also contains the largest stormwater storage tank in the City that will be used to store and irrigate Penmar’s baseball field and golf course.
“This Prop O stormwater project is an engineering masterpiece,” said Rosendahl. “I applaud the City departments that collaborated on a system to clean stormwater runoff that flows into Santa Monica Bay, as well as store water for reuse. This project will show future generations that we care about the environment and the people who live here.”
The storage tank is located underneath a baseball field at Penmar Park, measures 180 feet wide by 20 feet deep, and holds an amazing 2.75 million gallons of water.
“What’s exciting here — we didn’t have to buy property for this project,” said Gary Lee Moore, General Manager for the Bureau of Engineering. “The partnership with Rec and Parks has enabled us to restore the ball fields with new grass, as well as irrigate the ball fields and neighboring golf course.”
“I’m glad this project is finished,” said Venice Neighborhood Council President Linda Lucks, who heard many complaints from residents who were not able to use the park during construction. “I’m happy to see people can use the baseball fields again.”
Rosendahl used his YouTube channel to help show that progress was being made and that the park would soon reopen. In the video, Rosendahl reminded viewers that this green project created 30 jobs when the area needed it the most.
“This is a great symbol of a paradigm shift in the City of Los Angeles,” said Mark Gold, former Executive Director of Heal the Bay. “Not only does this tremendous project continue to clean up Santa Monica Bay and make it safe for swimmers to go to the beach without getting sick, it also captures runoff that should not be wasted.”
During a ribbon cutting event for the project on Monday, General Manager of the Bureau of Sanitation Enrique Zaldivar pointed out that Los Angeles recorded only 5″ of rain last season — much less than what has been recorded in previous years.
Palisadian Fran Diamond served on the project’s community oversight committee and said this Prop O projects tackles our water issues on two fronts.
“We’re solving the problem of water supply as well as water quality. ” said Diamond. “I’m thrilled that millions of gallons of stormwater will go to irrigate Penmar Park instead of flowing out to the bay and making people sick.”
City engineers say there is one last element to this project and that involves the installation of the irrigation system at the baseball field. This work is expected to start later this year.