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Will Silver Lakers Get their Meadow?

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A small patch of land in Silver Lake is about to learn its fate, as are the residents and officials who have been debating about what to do with it for close to ten years.

At stake are six acres termed "the Meadow" by locals on the property of the Silver Lake Reservoir which is going to be opened to the public soon, but concerns are already swirling about the nature of the land's purpose, as park or wildlife habitat or what have you.

According to the LA Times, this Saturday "City Councilmen Eric Garcetti and Tom LaBonge, who represent the Silver Lake area, and Department of Water and Power General Manager H. David Nahai, whose agency operates the reservoir, will explain how access to the land will be limited and how migratory birds and other wildlife will be protected."

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The actual "lake" is currently prepping to be drained, which is "being done to get rid of water contaminated by bromate, a carcinogen formed by the combination of bright sunlight, chlorine and natural bromides found in groundwater. DWP engineers intend to clean the reservoir and refill it before the hot summer months arrive." However, the reservoir is scheduled to be decommissioned by the DWP in seven years, leaving many locals wondering what will become of the entire 93-acre parcel of legendary land, named in honor of Herman Silver, who was "an advocate of a publicly owned municipal water system who became one of the city's first water commissioners in 1902."

Many advocates of green space and other area residents hope that if the City opts to not keep water in the Reservoir that they use the space and the attached Ivanhoe Reservoir as a public park. Ideas about how to convert the harsh aesthetics of the concrete lined man-made "lake" into an open and attractive space include thoughts of walking and bike paths and flora and fauna.

Determining just what shape "the Meadow" will take is the first step towards the future of the Silver Lake Reservoir, already iconic in our landscape, but currently bottling up its potential as a more public and functional space.

Photo by miyukiutada via Flickr