Rory M. Shaw Wetlands Park Breaks Ground

Officials from the City and County of Los Angeles, along with local residents, community groups and family members of the late Rory M. Shaw, gathered on September 20 at the future site of the Rory M. Shaw Wetlands Park to break ground on this Sun Valley watershed project. 

The Sun Valley Watershed – Rory M. Shaw Wetlands Park Project is a collaborative effort between the City and County of Los Angeles that will convert a 46-acre, engineered, inert landfill into a multi-purpose wetlands park. An elaborate system of detention ponds and wetlands will be constructed to capture and treat the runoff from the upstream  drainage area. The treated stormwater flows will then be pumped to the adjacent Sun Valley Park for infiltration into existing basins, providing groundwater recharge. The water conservation benefit is expected to be 590 acre-feet per year. “This project will be a functioning, natural filter for urban stormwater runoff and will take stormwater from a drainage area of nearly 1,000 acres and turn these acres into what we call ‘green acres’,” stated Enrique C. Zaldivar, Director of LA Sanitation. “It is our shared goal with LA County and the City family that by the time we’re done with our watershed protection efforts, every acre within the City and the County will be a green acre,” continued Zaldivar. The park and constructed wetlands will also create habitat for wildlife and provide an additional 46 acres of green space to a community that is currently underserved in the area of recreational opportunities. 

The site is named for Rory M. Shaw, a City of Los Angeles, Bureau of Engineering employee who lost his life during his performance of duties doing an emergency inspection of the site during a winter storm in February 2005. Mr. Shaw is remembered with this park and also with a City of Los Angeles award that bears his name, presented annually to employees who go above and beyond the call of duty in service to the public.

The total cost for the project is estimated at $52 million and will be funded by the Los Angeles County Flood Control District, Proposition O and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

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