Tag Archive for: echo park lake

via timothy.steingraeber's Flickr

Looking for a way to give back to community?

The Echo Park Advisory Board (PAB) is a volunteer group that oversees issues and events at Echo Park Lake and the Recreation Center, including the annual Easter Spring Event, Breakfast with Santa, and Halloween events. The Board is an important component in supporting the center and the community by volunteering for special events, facilitating scholarship fund-raisers, providing feedback and ideas to meet community needs in the area of recreation, and assisting in the publicity and communication of programs and activities.

The Board is currently accepting applications from Echo Park residents, business owners, or volunteers to serve on the board for the following positions: Board Secretary, Teen Representative and three Advisory Committee Leader positions. Starting July 1st, 2010, Board Chairperson and Vice Chairperson will also be open seats.

Interested in applying for a seat on the board? Email to have an application mailed to you, or stop by the Rec Center during operational hours to pick one up.

If you can’t donate your time on the board, how about just a small amount of cash? A little bit can go a long way. Individuals and businesses can help by sponsoring youth teams and clubs through the Rec Center. All donations contribute to the sports scholarships (a $50 scholarship will really help out a league, but partial scholarships are also accepted) as well as summer camp.

You can contact Cassandra Reyes to sponsor or donate to a league, or to inquire about joining the Park Advisory Board.

Meetings are held on the 4th Thursday of each month at 7:00 pm (check our calendar for updates) and are open to the public.

The Rec Center is open from 9:00 am – 8:30 pm Monday-Friday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm Saturday, and 10:00 am – 3:00 pm on Sunday. The facility is located at 1632 Bellevue Avenue, phone number is (213) 250-3578.

Photo via The Food Ledger. The Felly Dog: Bacon wrapped veggie dog, wasabi mayo, nori flakes, pickled carrots, avocado, kimchi radishes, yakisoba noodles.

Your summer kickoff event this year might just have to include some bacon – most likely because the smell of bacon-wrapped hot dogs will lure you to Echo Park Lake in just a couple of weekends.

Yelper Javier J. is well known for hosting such bacon-wrapped hot dog events, one at the Echo Park Lake last year, and another at Griffith Park earlier this year. This next Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dog Fest will take place on the North side of the lake on Saturday, May 22, 2010 starting at 12:00 noon.

This is also where vegetarians and meat-eaters unite; included on previous menus are veggie dogs with veggie bacon (see photo above). Last March, the Spring kick-off at Griffith Park included a variety of flavors and dogs, including: veggie dogs with veggie bacon, turkey dogs with turkey bacon, bacon vodka, onions and peppers (of course!), Wasabi mayo, seaweed strips, yakisobe, banh mi fixings, french baguettes, and more. This event’s menu isn’t settled yet, but will include a variety of delicious fixins.

No entrance fee, just a donation of a buck or two for each hot dog you devour.

Click here for more event information.

Throughout this week, Echo Park Lake is amongst other Southern California and Eastern Sierra waters to be stocked with rainbow trout by the Department of Fish and Game. Rainbow trout is generally stocked during the cooler months of winter through late spring, while catfish are stocked during the summer, and will join other fish like bass and maybe even some perch.

I personally enjoy rainbow trout – growing up, my family and I caught them in the mountain lakes in Northern California. My mother would wrap the fish in foil and cook them on our campfire, making some incredibly fresh dinner for our camping trips. But this isn’t the High Sierras – this is Echo Park Lake, which is considered a catch-and-release site for recreation only. Poor water quality keeps me from imagining anyone enjoying fish from the lake as a meal – the lake is in fact a flood control basin that catches all the urban run-off in the area, along with a collection of pollutants like ammonia, copper, lead, trash, and more that have accumulated in the lake.

However, I have been reading that the fish are safe to eat – the CA Department of Fish and Game told the Eastsider LA in November last year that most are caught within 1-3 months and are safe. I personally expect someone to discover a three-eyed Simpsons fish any time now, but I’ll leave it up to you whether or not you’ll be dining on some Echo Park Lake delicacies.

Militant Angeleno is reporting that the Lotus Festival will indeed return again despite another year of, well, a lotus-less lake. Last year the Lotus Festival was canceled due to budgetary cuts, and instead turned into the first Echo Park Community Festival.

According the Militant Angeleno blog, L.A. Lotus Festival, Inc. filed the paperwork for the event, which is scheduled for the weekend of July 10-11, 2010. While this year’s festival won’t coincide with the blooming of the lotus flowers (once the largest bed outside of Asia) since the flowers have stopped growing, it will as always be a great opportunity to celebrate the Asian/Pacific Islander culture, eat some food, and enjoy fireworks.

This may be the last chance for a Lotus Festival before the Echo Park Lake Rehab project shuts down the park in April 2011; hopefully the revived lake will bring the lotus flowers back!

Picnickers and swap meet vendors

In the past month or so, we have received letters from residents commenting on the weekend swap meet surrounding the Echo Park Lake. Other community blogs have highlighted similar complaints and comments about the legality (or illegality) of the swap meets. We thought we’d take this opportunity to break down some of the issues that have come up in letters to us, other news blogs, and recent community meetings.


  • From fellow Echo Park resident Marysa: “ I just got back from running in Echo Park for the first time in a month and realized why I have been unable to park anywhere near my Logan St. apartment on Sundays. The half-baked swap meet that was on Park has now exploded down to the light house on Echo Park.  I can dig that people are trying to make a buck but I think it’s ruining the peace of being there. All jokes about the park aside, there is a large number of people I see on a regular basis who use the park for healthy purposes. It’s a shame to see our park get taken over by commerce.” Parking around the lake has been a frustration, especially as residents like Marysa have to fight crowds to park on her own street in front of her own house.  One suggestion has been to issue Parking Permits to people that live around the lake. However, this process can take a couple of years and a LOT of community organization (efforts the past few years surrounding Dodger Stadium are a good example of this).


  • In addition to the parking problems, some residents feel the Park is being overcrowded because the swap meet has expanded so far along the park edges. It is indeed a little difficult to navigate through the north-east portion of the lake. Just last weekend vendors were stretched along nearly the entire north side and along the east side just past the boat house. As Andrew Garsten, EPIA Chair of the Neighborhood Issues Committee, wrote in the latest EPIAn Ways newsletter, the swap meet is “displacing any possibility of using huge sections of the park for normal use like a quiet stroll or a picnic.” For residents like Mr. Garsten, the issue is really about people who live in Echo Park who don’t have the luxury of a back yard and who use the Lake because they need the park.

Read more

Tonight (Wednesday, October 21) at 7:00 pm, the Echo Park Improvement Association will meet at Williams Hall at Barlow Hospital (2000 Stadium Way).

The agenda includes some topics that many Echo Park residents have been debating lately, including the Lake restoration project, the Flea Market at the lake, and Dodger Stadium traffic (always a contentious issue).

1. Introductions and sign in
2. Local Schools:
    a. Van De Kamps/LACC-LACCD Update (Garsten)
3. Land Use:
    a. Barlow Hospital-Proposed Entitlements and Development Update (Garsten)
    b. Taco Trucks Downtown Echo Park (Schenot)
    c. New Business
        i. Angeles Group to discuss Durbin project and Morton Village complex
        ii. Farmer’s Market Expansion (Schenot)
        iii. Proposed fee increases for LADBS appeals (Garsten)
4. Parks Issues:
    a. Echo Park Lake
        i. Restoration Project (Raskin)
        ii. Illegal Flea Market (Hubert)
    b. Elysian Park
    c. New business
5. Public Works Issues:
    a. EPIA/Echo Park Transportation Study (Javier Aguilar)
    b. Route 2 Terminus Improvement Project Updates (Lassen, Raskin).
    c. Mural Projects-EPIA Committee Progress? (Lassen, Meksin)
    d. Walkable Streets-Streetscape and pedestrian amenities (Meksin)
    e. Southbound 101 Alvarado Exit Left Turn Lane (Hubert to present Draft Letter)
    f. Dodgers traffic issues (Hubert)
    g. New Business
6. EPIA Policies & Procedures
    a. Bylaws Amendments (Hubert, Garsten)
7. Public Comment on Non-Agenda Items
8. Future Agendas
9. Adjourn

For info email: andrew.garsten@sbcglobal.net