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Silver Lake Reservoir Could Be So Much More

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Photo by An Tran/LAist

The Silver Lake reservoir has been drained for sometime now due to rare photochemical reaction that created carcinogens. In June, the Department of Water and Power plans to fill it back up, but its use as a place to hold drinking water is being phased out -- it will now become purely eye candy by 2015 (as well as the nearby Ivanhoe Reservoir). So if the water aspect has no functional use and takes up plenty of real estate in a city that is in desperate need of urban parkland, why not make some changes? USC journalism teacher and blogger Sara Catania has an idea:

The end of the reservoir provides us with a rare and potentially brilliant opportunity to rethink the concept of an urban park for the 21st century. Nearly every sizable open space in Los Angeles was designed long ago, for a town of citrus groves and open plains that looks nothing like the city we live in today. This reservoir-turned-park could offer a model of urban sustainability, continuing to provide sanctuary for urban-adapted wildlife while addressing the neighborhood's pressing human needs. New Yorkers pay astronomical sums for apartments facing the green of Central Park; a new Silver Lake Park could offer a similarly sylvan respite. What if the "lake" -- complete with some islands and wetlands -- were reduced to the size of five football fields, with a chunk of adjacent land fenced off as a sanctuary for birds and other animals? The remaining acreage could intersperse meandering walking paths with groves of Western sycamores, coast live oaks and other native plants.

There are currently plans for the reservoir,
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such as the Meadow, but Catania notes that since the need for the water will no longer be a necessity, maybe the Silver Lake Reservoir master plan could be revised.

Neighborhood Project: Silver Lake