Just two months ago the 29-acre Echo Park Lake re-opened to the public after two years of reconstruction.
Residents from my mother’s assisted living facility made the trip there for a picnic this week. As you know, I always enjoy going along on these outings.
It was another beautiful southern California summer day and great to be outdoors.
In 2006, Echo Park Lake was identified by the State of California as an impaired water body.
It has been rehabilitated to help remedy storm water pollution, meet the State’s water quality standards and make the lake more sustainable.
And the water lilies seem to be enjoying the clean water.
Not to mention the kids in their jungle jim.
The lake was originally built in the 1860s as a reservoir for drinking water. Legend has it that the lake got its name as workers building the original reservoir said they could hear their voices echoing off the canyon walls.
Map showing the area in 1894 looking north to the mountains. If you look closely you can see a cluster of oil wells at the bottom center, not an unusual sight in those days.
Today Echo Park Lake is a Los Angeles icon that functions primarily as a detention basin in the City’s storm drain system, while providing recreational benefits and a wildlife habitat.
About five years ago all the lotus flowers—a variety of nelumbo nucifera—that the park was famous for over a number of decades, died off for some mysterious reason. Some blame people digging for lotus roots that are an Asian delicacy. Others point fingers at maintenance procedures that destroyed the seeds.
These new lotuses (loti?) were planted in February from cuttings taken from the old plants. They are currently growing under netting to protect them from birds until they reach adulthood. Let’s hope they live long and prosper.
In past years Echo Park Lake has hosted an annual Lotus Festival. I believe it will return next year when the lotuses have established themselves once again.
Statue honoring Our Lady, Queen of the Angels (Nuestra Mujer, la Reina de Los Angeles), fondly known as Lady of the Lake.
Echo Park Lake is close to downtown as you can see from the photo. It is located between the 101 Freeway/Hollywood Freeway on the south and Sunset Boulevard to the north.
One of the earliest silent film studios was built in Echo Park in 1912 and any movie of that era that needed water was filmed on the lake. Since then too many movies and TV shows to mention have used that location. If you ever saw “Chinatown” with Jack Nicholson, then you have seen Echo Park Lake!
In 1986 a movie named Echo Park starred Susan Dey and Tom Hulce.
And the newly elected Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti lives in the Echo Park district.
The fountains were installed for the Olympics held in Los Angeles in 1984.
I have no idea what this red-leafed tree is but it certainly is lovely.
This tree I do know. Gold Medallions are blooming all over the Los Angeles area right now.
Lovely day for a family outing or a stroll around the lake.
Too bad we have to leave and can’t stay with this mother pushing her stroller and the ice cream vendor with his sweet fare for sale. But onward we must go.
Sources include: http://www.echoparklake.org/english/index.htm.
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