City Officials Unveil New & Sustainable LA Zoo Parking Lot

City Councilman Tom LaBonge, officials of the Los Angeles Zoo and the Department of Public Works, environmentalists and other community members celebrated today the completion of the Los Angeles Zoo Parking Lot project, in conjunction with the announcement of the Zoo’s activities for Earth Day 2011.  The event marked the conclusion of the $13.9-million retrofit of the Zoo’s parking lot to implement stormwater best management practices that will reduce the urban runoff that drains to the Los Angeles River, while aesthetically enhancing the entrance to the Los Angeles landmark. 

Councilman Tom LaBonge of the 4th District that includes the Zoo said, “The Los Angeles Zoo continues to enhance opportunities to enjoy this Earth we call home, caring for it and sharing it with all creatures big and small, short and tall.  This world-class zoo is on the forefront of responsible environmental stewardship, dedicating this new ‘green’ parking lot, which reduces the amount of stormwater runoff flowing into the Los Angeles River.”

The parking lot project was funded by the voter-approved Proposition O Clean Water Bond.  Enhancements to mitigate stormwater runoff include various types of permeable pavement, grassy swales, native trees and other vegetation.  There are also newly-installed educational signs along the promenade to inform L.A. Zoo visitors about the parking lot’s sustainable features. 

John Lewis, Director of the L.A. Zoo said, “This new, environmentally-friendly parking lot will provide Zoo visitors with a visually pleasing entrance while making Los Angeles’ waterways cleaner. This weekend’s Earth Day Expo event is the perfect occasion to dedicate this parking lot and we encourage Angelenos to appreciate the new features the lot has to offer when they visit the L.A. Zoo.”

City Engineer Gary Lee Moore said, “Over the last several years, our team of dedicated professionals worked closely with the L.A. Zoo to ensure that this project meets their sustainability objectives and the needs of their visitors.  This new parking lot complements our overall objectives to rehabilitate and protect the L.A. River, and ensure its health through green infrastructure improvements.”

Construction of the L.A. Zoo Parking Lot project began in early 2010 and continued for one year. The project was conceptualized by the Bureau of Sanitation, the city’s agency responsible for stormwater management and infrastructure.  Project design and construction were managed by the Bureau of Engineering in close collaboration with the L.A. Zoo.  The Bureau of Contract Administration provided inspection services to ensure that the project was built according to bids and specifications. 

According to Bureau of Sanitation Director Enrique Zaldivar, “The City of Los Angeles is working hard to implement projects like the L.A. Zoo Parking Lot to better manage our stormwater and reduce the amount of pollutants and litter that wash down our storm drains, into the L.A. River, and eventually out to sea.”  He added, “We need to change our City’s concrete landscape where we can, and capture the rain water on site instead of allowing it to run off.  We keep our waterways clean and we conserve precious water–these are solutions that make environmental and economic sense!”

The project’s completion coincides with the L.A. Zoo’s Earth Day Expo that will take place on April 9 and 10, 2011, and will feature conservation and recycling information in an interactive and fun Earthy-friendly environment.  The two-day festivities, sponsored by KEARTH 101, will include live broadcasts, music, craft booths, free 2011 Earth Day activity books, and exhibitors.  Earth Day Expo attendees will learn about some of California’s amazing creatures including harbor seals, California condors (not on exhibit), California brown pelicans, California desert tortoises, Channel Island foxes and bighorn sheep.  Earth Day Expo 2011 is proudly sponsored by K-EARTH 101 FM. 

To learn more about the L.A. Zoo Parking Lot project and Proposition O, visit, or call the Department of Public Works Public Affairs Office at (213) 978-0333.  To get more information about the L.A. Zoo’s Earth Day Expo, go to or call (323) 644-4200.

The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens is located in Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways. Admission is $14 for adults and $9 for children ages 2 to 12. Earth Day Expo is free with admission to the L.A. Zoo. The Zoo is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. For general information, call (323) 644-4200 or visit the website at


Comments (2)

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    Dana Leski
    November 15th, 2011 at 1:13 pm

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      LA Stormwater
      November 15th, 2011 at 2:02 pm

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