Tag Archive for: echo park lake

Flickr photo by Max Santa Cruz, May 2010

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been get a lot of questions and emails about the fate of this year’s Cuban Music Festival, held annually at Echo Park Lake.

We did track down the official organizers of the event for more info, but we have some bad news: The Echo Park Lake Cuban Music Festival is indeed canceled this year.

According to the event organizers (which Echo Park Now is not affiliated with), Duval Productions, lack of funding has caused enough issues to postpone the event until next year. They told us, in an email:

We had planned to have it on Sunday May 22, but encountered a number of obstacles with the production this year, from the unavailability of the park to the loss of valuable donations. We have exhausted our efforts to raise the necessary funds to support the event but have not been successful.

With the Echo Park Lake renovation starting in July this year, and lasting for two years, we’re not sure where next year’s Cuban Music Festival will happen, but hopefully nearby!

Visit the Duval Productions website for more information.

Flickr photo by Max Santa Cruz, May 2010

My answer is simple: We have no idea!

But we’ve been getting a LOT of emails about this – like, a LOT. So we’ll try and clear things up for everyone excited for a day of congas and Cuba!

First off, the Cuban Music Festival is an annual event at Echo Park Lake – this year marks the 17th. It celebrates Cuba’s Independence from Spain on May 20, and Cuban poet José Martí (you may have notice his statue at the corner of the park).

The festival is usually held on the closest Sunday to that May 20th date – making this year’s Cuban Festival maybe on May 22, 2011. I have not gotten this confirmed by any event organizers, but would love to hear back from them soon and will let everyone know as soon as I know!

On Saturday, March 26, LA Works is partnering up with the Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council to accomplish a unique community service project in honor of Cesar Chavez’s March 31 birthday.

Expert muralists, volunteers and civic leaders will oversee volunteers and LAUSD students in the creation of five to ten community justice and human rights-themed murals. The murals will be donated to schools and libraries around Los Angeles.

Andres Chavez, grandson of Cesar Chavez, will be a guest speaker at the event. He was “raised in the tradition of the farm worker movement that his grandfather, César Chávez, founded. He has participated in United Farm Workers’ marches, rallies, picket lines, union conventions, and political campaigns, including those for immigration reform.”

Former State Senator Richard Polanco (who helped make March 31, Chavez’s birthday, a state holiday in 2000) will also be a guest speaker.

The program begins at 9:00 am on Saturday, March 26 at Echo Park Lake. Full details and directions are provided to you after you register. You can register to volunteer by visiting the LA Works website.

View from the top of the Clinton Stairs

We have been getting quite a few emails from residents asking about the upcoming Echo Park Lake rehab project. Today at the Echo Park Farmers’ Market, you can drop by the Echo Park Trash Abatement Project (TAP) table to learn more about how to improve water quality, especially at the Lake. They will have on hand some materials from the city’s Stormwater Public Education Program, the Prop O Lake Rehab Project, and trash management information for you. You can also sign up to get information about how to help with trash cleanups, water quality projects, storm drain adoptions, or to share concerns at the table.

The table will be there tonight from 4:00 pm – 6:30 pm.

The Echo Park Farmers’ Market takes place every Friday from 3-7:00 pm in parking lot #663 (half a block south of Sunset Blvd. off Logan Street).

Flickr photo via LaCaMod

You may have heard the story about Maria the Goose – the only loveable goose I’ve ever heard of. She may not snuggle with you, but she is very friendly and has become very fond of Dominic, a local who visits her quite regularly and is often seen following him down the street as he speeds away on a moped.

You may have also heard about the goose on KTLA, and the Maria the Goose Facebook page (well, they call her Orange Bill) launched from the recent OK Go music video at the lake.

This weekend, a Hiking Club will meet along with new member Dominic to take a walk around the lake. Hike leader Lee Zebold admits that lately, Maria has also “accepted me, and I am now her friend.”

According to the meet-up page, “Now is your chance to meet Maria and walk Echo Lake with her. She will put on a flying demonstration as well to show off her newly learned abilities (she is young and learning to fly). It will take no more than an hour and should be a hike (walk) that you won’t easily forget.”

As you may know, the lake will be gated, dredged, and rebuilt over a two year process starting in April 2011. We have just a couple of months left to enjoy the lake as we now know it, so take advantage now! And don’t worry, there’s still the second largest park in Los Angeles (Elysian Park) in our backyard, so you won’t be left without some great green space.

The meetup this weekend is on Saturday, February 12 at 9:00 am. No dogs, easy hike for all ages. Meet at 1750 Echo Park Avenue. Click here to sign up on the meet-up page.

Every once in a while, I’ll drive by Echo Park Lake on a weekend day and see a bunch of people hula hooping – and there are some people with mad skills. Turns out, it’s an organized event, and there’s one at Echo Park Lake this weekend!

LA Hoopers is a group that sponsors monthly “hoopjams” around Los Angeles. They are free, open to the public, and meet up at all kinds of locations in LA. Here’s the info for this weekend’s Hoopjam: Hooperbowl Sunday, February 6, from 2-5:00 pm:

Look for us with special guest for February DJ Quinn Callicott at the Glendale Blvd and Park Ave corner of the park. It’s free! We’re bringing greater LA area hoopers together in a business free environment for community, nothing more, nothing less. No sales or promotional flyering, thanks! No alcohol per park regulations. It’s Hooperbowl Sunday! Come hoop it up with us and spread the word!

Click here for the group’s Facebook page and join up if you like hula hooping!

My, how a lot has changed! There aren’t a lot of bikini-clad women hanging around the lake these days, but this is a great video of Echo Park Lake in the 1960s with Jody Miller for her song “Things”:

The video is actually a scopitone – basically a music video that played on a jukebox (it pre-dates what we now know as a music video, but is the same general idea).

Check out the size of those lotus leaves, and some of the plant life looks way different (those palm trees are much bigger now!). You can see canoes in the background at the boathouse – yes you used to be able to canoe! If only you could take a little Lazer sail boat like the one she’s got on the lake…!

h/t @smitty4657 for the link!

Brian W. posted this on the world wide web a couple of days ago, and it’s really a nice video of Echo Park Lake. If you’re looking to sell your parents or a friend on visiting you in your new pad in Echo Park, this is the video for you.

Echo Park Dusk from Brian W. on Vimeo.

We received an email from one of our readers yesterday, asking the question on many local’s minds:

I live on Belmont ave. above the lake. How much is the upcoming rehabilitation expected to impact quality of life for nearby residents?

The answer is unfortunate but simple: It’s not going to be pleasant.

While the Prop O funded project is meant to clean up the ridiculous amount of pollution and debris, the next two years of the rehabilitation are going to be a little smelly, noisy, and not very enjoyable. Better enjoy it while it lasts, because in just three months things will get a little messy.

First, they’ll have to drain the lake in order to clear out around 50,000 feet of icky soil. But before they can haul that out, they’ll have to let the dirt dry out, and you can expect some pretty nasty smells (think rotten eggs) in the contaminated dirt. As the trucks roll in and out, there’s a strong fear that the contaminants (including ammonia, copper, and possibly some carcinogens) will disperse into the air, but there’s no solid proof of if and how it will affect nearby residents (besides the smell) as of yet.

If you’ve ever lived next door to a major construction zone, the noise from 2,500 trips to haul out the dirt, interruptions in street tracking, and an overall lengthy process over two full years will definitely be disruptive to residents. Let’s hope they’ll at least take a day or two off on the weekends to give everyone a break.

Nearby property for sale will also be affected – it might take a little longer to sell. But in the end, those properties will have a great view. And we’re all hoping the end result will be a cleaner, safer, and more enjoyable public space in Echo Park.

This year’s Annual Christmas Bird Count at Echo Park Lake brought almost 20 people to the boat house early on Sunday, January 2. All in all, 41 species of birds were counted, a new record for Echo Park Lake (the fall bird count saw 16 species). Bird lovers in Echo Park have identified over 70 species of birds over the last ten years.

The American coot took the crown with the largest population of 110, and the Western gull at second place with 104. Read the full list of the 41 species found at Echo Park Lake after the jump.

The next bird count is the Great Backyard Bird Count in February.

You can read about Jenny Burman’s account of the early morning bird count on her Chicken Corner blog.

Read more

Yesterday was a gorgeous day in Echo Park, so we took advantage of the clear skies and headed to Echo Park Lake. It was so windy (and a little chilly) that the lake’s iconic fountains were blown sideways, giving us a little rainbow along with it.

View from the top of the Clinton Stairs

April 2011 is just around the corner, and you know what that means – the beginning of a two-year long and very stinky Echo Park Lake Rehabilitation project.

Tomorrow is the day the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) goes to the City Council Energy and Environment Committee for review. It’s difficult to tell whether or not the final EIR makes Echo Park activists happy -the nearly 500 page EIR is quite complicated and difficult to interpret (to fully understand everything you’d probably need a degree in City Planning, Architecture, and Environmental Policy of some sort). Residents with concerns had until August 30, 2010 to submit comments for review prior to the final EIR.

You can download the Final EIR (if you dare, the file is quite large) by clicking here.

Pollution and much-needed updates to the filtration systems are behind the Prop O funded rehab project, which is scheduled for April 2011. They will drain the 13 acre lake and haul out approximately 50,000 cubic feet of soil from the bottom, replace the lake liner, rebuild the wetlands, and replant other vegetation (including the lotus bed). They filtration systems will also be updated, as the lake does collect water runoff from the city, and will help reduce the amount of city water used to keep the lake levels high.

Wildlife activists and bird lovers have been concerned with the state of the migratory birds once the lake is drained. A compromise has been reached, and the engineers will include four temporary pools for migratory birds.

Flickr photo by Juan Navarro

Saturday morning at Echo Park Lake will be buzzing: There’s an Echo Park Lake Rehabilitation tour led by the city, and a history lesson hosted by the Echo Park Time Bank. It’s possible that they’ll overlap, so you might have to pick just one:

Echo Park Lake Rehabilitation Tour
Saturday, November 13 from 9:30-10:30 am
Meet on the corner of Park Avenue and Echo Park Avenue at 9:20 am

Echo Park and the History of L.A. Expansion
Saturday, November 13th, 2010 at 10:00 am at Echo Park Lake.
A discussion with Time Bank member Michael Jacob Rochlin along with Art Goldberg will discuss how Echo Park fits into the overall pattern of expansion in Los Angeles.
Meet at the brown concrete picnic tables along Park Ave.
Call 323-661-2793 for more info.

The weather report calls for a cold and cloudy day tomorrow morning (no rain), but the tour of Echo Park Lake tomorrow has been postponed just in case. Community Outreach rep Olga S. Morales just sent out this email:

I am sorry to inform you that  due to the unpredictable weather and for everyone well being and safety. The team has decided to postpone tomorrow’s Saturday, Echo Park Lake Tour for another day. Please stay tune to more information. You can also go to: www.LaPropO.org to get updates.

While there is no date set yet for October, there are two other tour dates: November 13 and December 11. The English tour will start at 9:30 a.m. and the tour conducted in Spanish will begin at 11:00 a.m. Sign up by emailing Olga.Morales@lacity.org or calling (213) 978-0329.

We were looking forward to hearing about any new updates since the EIR was released, but now we can sleep in tomorrow.

Flickr Photo via avilon_music

On Saturday, October 23, we are heading to Echo Park Lake for a “Rehabilitation Pre-Construction Tour” to learn about the upcoming work on the historic lake. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the project, stormwater improvements, and what you can expect come April 2011.

Here are the dates of the tours:

Saturday, October 23, 2010
Saturday, November 13th, 2010
Saturday, December 11, 2010

9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. – English
11:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon – Spanish

Meet at the corner of Park Avenue and Echo Park Avenue. Wear comfortable walking shoes and weather-appropriate clothes.

Sign up NOW! There are only 30 slots per tour and RSVP s are required.  Sign up today by emailing Olga.Morales@lacity.org or calling (213) 978-0329.

Click here to download the event flyer.